Conway Downtown Partnership

Driving Positive Change In the Heart of Conway

Downtown Conway: A Thriving Hub of Business and Entertainment with a Promising Economic Future

Geographically located in the community center, a thriving downtown is critical to identity and economic vitality. A vibrant downtown functions as the community heart because it offers a gathering place to live, work, play, shop, and eat for both residents and visitors. 

Since its inception in 2001, Conway Downtown Partnership has made substantial progress in securing a bright economic future for the downtown area. The Partnership has been the driving force for positive, permanent change in downtown Conway.

Downtown Conway is home to more than 2,500 jobs and 300 businesses and is a vibrant area that’s constantly growing and evolving. As the heart of our community, downtown Conway offers fantastic perks like gigabit Internet service through the Data District, networking opportunities, and easy access to amenities that make it a great place to work and entertain clients.

Recently, the Partnership has worked to reinvent public spaces, such as Rogers Plaza and the Markham Street corridor. The Partnership is also in the final steps of creating a Central Business Improvement District for the sustained maintenance of downtown Conway.

None of this would be possible without the support of partner businesses, downtown residents, private developers, and public investment. By working together, the Partnership has succeeded in building a thriving commercial climate with a positive economic future.

The Partnership Vision and Mission


To be a welcoming and thriving downtown that attracts and supports businesses, enhances living and working, preserves the heritage, and shares the history of our community.


The Conway Downtown Partnership is a nonprofit economic development organization focused on the promotion, planning, and maintenance of an improved downtown Conway. Since its inception in 2001, the Partnership has collaborated with partner businesses, downtown residents, private developers, and city government to bring about positive and permanent change in downtown Conway.

Logo-Main Street America

Main Street America

As a Main Street America™ Accredited program, Conway Downtown Partnership is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities that share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street America™ Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by the National Main Street Center. Arkansas is the state’s historic preservation-based community and economic development program. 

The History of the Conway Downtown Partnership

The idea for the Conway Downtown Partnership emerged from weekly discussions held by a steering group made up of property owners, developers, and business professionals. They recognized a need for a proactive, private-sector organization that could represent the interests of the downtown community. After several months of deliberation, the Partnership was born with a mission to drive positive change and secure a bright economic future for downtown Conway.

The initial work of the Partnership was to research other successful downtown private sector organizations around the state and country. The results revealed that private-sector leadership groups have been evolving in major downtowns across the country for more than 45 years. Research confirmed that when the public and private sectors collaborate, they gain a better understanding of each other’s needs and challenges. This, in turn, helps them to work together towards finding solutions that ensure the continued prosperity of the city’s core as the economic, cultural, and recreational center of the community.

Organizationally, the Partnership was structured in a way that assures a broad representation of the downtown business community. Research revealed that all successful private-sector groups feature diversity in membership, with the principal officer or partner of the member firm serving as the representative of the group. This provides a forum for dialogue among the leaders of the Downtown Community, where each individual feels comfortable expressing their views in a closed-door environment.


Since its inception, the Conway Downtown Partnership has been responsible for fostering millions of dollars in private and public investments in downtown Conway

The Hendrix Village lawn.

Private Investment: A New Take on “Growth”

Can something grow without getting bigger? Downtown Conway has had roughly the same boundaries for generations: a historic neighborhood to the west, Hendrix College and St. Joseph to the north and south. It is a walkable and cozy scale that has stood the test of time.

But make no mistake – there has been serious growth in our downtown. In 2012 and 2013, more than 85,000 square feet of office and retail space were renovated. We have seen previously underused or vacant space fill up with regionally prominent retailers on Oak Street. Second-generation office space on Main Street is now home to nationally known businesses with growing payrolls. And the number of buildings being redeveloped because of state and federal historic tax credits is growing, too.

If you have to point out just one example of old-fashioned, new-construction growth, look no further than the development of The Village at Hendrix. While done in a traditional way, the Village has grown Conway’s housing, office, retail, and restaurant real-estate options. Downtown Conway challenges a lot of the conventional thinking about growth by managing to grow up without growing old.

The downtown fountain at Oak Street and Court Street.

Public Investment: The Public Promise

Downtowns are unique by design. Without healthy and attractive public infrastructure, private developments cannot succeed in a downtown setting. Whether it is an amenity like a park, an aesthetic detail like hanging baskets, or critical systems like utilities and drainage, downtowns demand quality infrastructure.

Since its founding in 2001, Conway Downtown Partnership has been the champion for more than $5 million in infrastructure improvements downtown. Beginning in 2003, the Partnership collaborated with the City of Conway, Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, Conway Development Corporation, and Conway Corporation on streetscape projects that include wider sidewalks with brick pavers, landscaping, new period streetlights, and improvements to underground infrastructure along Front, Oak, and Parkway Streets.

In 2009, public-way improvements continued with the new Conway Police Station project that added the block of Front, Deer, Chestnut, and Prairie Streets to the streetscape of downtown Conway. 

In 2013, Main Street added more than 70 parking spaces while improving sidewalks and lighting. And the new Rogers Plaza at the intersection of Oak and Van Ronkle Streets finally gave downtown the signature entrance that had been talked about for more than a decade.

Finally, the Partnership has led the effort to create a Central Business Improvement District (CBID). Once operational, the CBID will provide sustained annual funding for our downtown’s public spaces.                  

Downtown developers and tenants can see at every corner the proof of Conway’s commitment to downtown.

Economic Transformation

Transformation Strategies | Retail

Transformation Strategies | Real Estate Re-Development

Our Leadership

Conway Downtown Partnership Board of Directors

Pete Tanguay, President
Lori Quinn, Vice President
Dr. Shaneil Ealy, Secretary
Jamie Brice. Ex Officio
Jason Covington
John McNamara
Greg Dell
Eric King
Tom Nelson
Lauren Norris
Rob O’Connor
Tricia O’Connor
Kim Williams, Executive Director

Central Business Improvement District Commissioners

George Covington, Chairman
Greg Nabholz, Vice Chairman
Steve Magie, Secretary/Treasurer
Raymond Kelley
Brent Salter

Our Partners

Your Place is Here

Throughout the years, the CDP has showcased the unique variety of businesses, organizations, and people that make Downtown Conway more than a dot on a map by encouraging members to say, “My place is here.”

As a member of the Conway Downtown Partnership, you will join residents, business owners, and corporate representatives who underwrite our ability to stimulate and fully leverage public and private investment for an improved downtown. 

Join our efforts by becoming a member today!

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