A local banker was integral in bringing Central Landing to Conway.
Michael Fowler is the Credit Department Manager for First Security Bank.
He’d been working at the bank for a number of years when he overheard a conversation between First Security Bank President Johnny Adams and the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce about redeveloping Cantrell Field about a year ago.
Michael’s father, Elton Fowler, is the chief pilot for real estate and management company Jim Wilson & Associates that specializes in retail centers and master plan neighborhoods.
Michael told his dad, next time JWA is in town, have them look at doing something at the Cantrell Field site.
Will Wilson, CEO and president of JWA, said the company came to Conway because of a conversation he had with Elton and his son Michael, who lives in Conway and knows the town well.
Soon thereafter negotiations took place between the development company and the CDC, and a partnership was formed to create Central Landing, a mixed-use redevelopment of Cantrell field.
“[Michael] recognized that Jim Wilson & Associates would be an excellent partner for a project of this nature and scope,” he said.
Michael said he has visited JWA’s EastChase Outparcels in Montgomery, Ala., a similar mixed-use development consisting of shopping and restaurants, lodging, an office park and residential community on a golf course.
“I saw the project while visiting family, and they did a good job, so I felt comfortable recommending this,” he said.
Brad Lacy, president of the chamber and Conway Development Corporation, complimented Michael at the Conway Chamber Business Expo Breakfast Thursday morning.
“You probably don’t think economic or community development is your business, but it is your business,” he said. “It’s actually everyone’s business. When you hear things or see things you think are helpful or something we can address, the important thing is to talk about it, and Michael did just that.”
Michael is humble about his role in bringing JWA to Conway.
“I think I had the idea that this is someone who does this for a living,” he said. “I just connected the dots.”
The project is headed in the right direction, Michael said.
“There are still bunch of steps they need to go through before it’s close to being complete, but it will be great for Conway and the community,” he said.
(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)