Arkansas Business

John Correnti Big River Steel
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The CEO of the state’s first superproject, Big River Steel CEO John Correnti, was found dead on an out-of-state business trip Tuesday morning, Talk Business & Politics has confirmed.

Correnti, 68, was the driving force for the $1.3 billion steel mill superproject, which is being built near Osceola (Mississippi Co.). As a former CEO of rival Nucor Steel, Correnti was a big fan of Arkansas where he once headed Nucor’s operations in the 1990’s.

Fayetteville-based Sage Partners announced Monday that it has leased 55,882 square feet of space at the former Hawker facility at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport to Mountain Home aviation services firm Fly Arkansas LLC.

Fly Arkansas plans to begin operations at the airport facility in October 2015, offering aircraft leasing, rental, management and other aviation services. This is the company’s third Fixed Based Operator (FBO) facility, and it’s first in Little Rock, company officials said.

A subsidiary of Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, Inc. has shut down its beef operations plant in Denison, Iowa, leaving 400 people without jobs.

Tyson Fresh Meats closed the plant Friday. Tyson Fresh Meats President Steve Stouffer said in a news release that the cattle supply is down - leading to an excess of beef production capacity. He said ending beef operations at the plant will put Tyson's remaining beef business in a better position to succeed.

'Impasse' on Main Street

Aug 3, 2015
Scott Reed at the relaunch of K Lofts in 2013.
Mauren Kennedy / Arkansas Business

Private developers and the city of Little Rock have been investing in recent years to revive a stretch of Main Street but not all projects in the so-called Creative Corridor are taking off. George Waldon, with Arkansas Business, reports that two mixed-use commercial and residential properties being developed by Scott Reed – K Lofts and Main Street Lofts – are behind schedule and owe contractors more than a million dollars.

The Walmart visitors center in downtown Bentonville.

The Walton Family Foundation is developing what it is calling an “independent” school in Bentonville for the Northwest Arkansas region, the foundation announced in a press release Thursday.

The release said the school “will also offer a challenging curriculum, small classes, a diverse student body and distinctive architecture.” has details on the arrest of North Little Rock businessman John Rogers. He became known for buying the photo archives of major newspapers across the country and dealing in sports memorabilia like rare baseball cards. But Rogers has been dogged by a series of fraud allegations by banks, business associates, clients and investors.

More International Recognition For Little Rock’s Creative Corridor

Jul 22, 2015
Main Street Little Rock creative corridor
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The architecture plan to transform Main Street Little Rock into the Creative Corridor has been recognized again.

The University of Arkansas Community Design Center and Marlon Blackwell Architect’s plan, “The Creative Corridor: A Main Street Revitalization for Little Rock,” won Honorable Mention in Urban Design (Concept) of the International Awards 2015 sponsored by Architecture Podium.

Two of Arkansas’ largest publicly traded concerns bounced off yearly lows in Monday’s week-opening session as U.S. stocks endured another day of Wall Street downgrades and uneasy trading following news that Europe had offered Greece a $96 billion bailout deal.

Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 217.27, or 1.2%, to 17977.68. The S&P 500 added 22.98, or 1.1%, to 2099.60, while the technology friendly Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 73.82, or 1.5%, to 5071.51.

JBS USA Pork has agreed to a $1.45 billion deal with Cargill to acquire the company’s U.S.-based pork business, which includes part of the agriculture and food giant’s pork operations in Arkansas.

A May survey of business contacts in the Little Rock Zone of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows a little more than half of respondents expect economic conditions in 2015 will be better than in 2014. That’s down from three months earlier, when a little more than 80% were optimistic about the near-term outlook.