The Conway City Council approved buying property at 1114 and 1116 Gum St. for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

“This is the first step in moving forward to secure the property for the emergency shelter,” CDGB Director Kiera Oluokun said. “It appraised at $165,000 and the owner already agreed to that price.”

The council approved a private club permit for O’Malley’s Irish Grill at 803 Harkrider St., the former location of Blackwood’s Gyro.

The owner said he “hopes to open in March, maybe before St. Patrick’s Day.”

Aldermen also approved SWA Group to be the design team for the Markham Square Water Quality Demonstration Project.

City Planner James Walden recommended SWA Group after going through the RFQs (request for quotations).

“We selected them for their creativity … and the way they build the identity of the project into the concept,” he said, noting the project includes a detention and “the added bonus of a park.”

Walden also updated aldermen on the city’s growth.

“In the last year, Conway – in terms of new single-family starts – we’ve gone from being fourth in the region to being second,” he said. “Our single-family starts last year was 267. That’s the highest number since 2007. That’s a 30 percent increase over the previous year. That’s substantial.”

Staff writer Jeanette Anderton can be reached at

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