Ivy Owen, PCED, EDFP, recently received the 2017 John Lynch Base Redevelopment Leadership Award from the Association of Defense Communities (ADC). Sen. John Boozman and Rep. Steve Womack presented the award to Owen at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., during the 2017 Defense Communities National Summit hosted by ADC.
Since 2007, Owen has led State Chamber member Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority’s (FCRA) drive to transform 7,000 acres of a closed Army post, Fort Chaffee, into Chaffee Crossing, a thriving business and residential community.
“Ivy Owen’s vision for Chaffee Crossing and his ability to foster strong, collaborative relationships at the business, state and local levels has made this community a major economic driver in Arkansas,” said Michael Cooper, president of ADC. “His leadership is an example for communities across the country on how to convert former military property into opportunities for regional growth and economic development.”
Through his efforts to attract businesses, educational institutions and other organizations to western Arkansas, Chaffee Crossing now hosts 15 company and government agency headquarters, has satellite classrooms for two universities, a future Montessori school, a veterinary hospital and several churches. It will soon host the campus of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. There also are three shopping centers and 24 residential developments that can accommodate 2,300 single- and multi-family units, recreation facilities and a historic district, which includes a military museum.
Under Owen’s stewardship, the redevelopment authority also has funded the construction of miles of streets and water, sewer and utility lines, worked to ensure the completion of a segment of Interstate 49 that runs through Chaffee Crossing, and Owen continues to seek $2.5 billion in federal and state funding to complete a segment of the highway that would run 180 miles from Chaffee Crossing to Texarkana on the Arkansas-Texas border. Chaffee Crossing’s development has attracted more than $1.45 billion in capital improvements, created more than 3,500 jobs and pumped more than $100 million annually into the local economy. In acknowledgement of these achievements, FCRA received ADC’s Base Redevelopment Excellence Award in 2016.
Owen acknowledged the contributions many different stakeholders have made to ensure that Fort Chaffee would become a thriving, sustainable community and a major economic driver in Arkansas.
“Chaffee Crossing has become the envy of the state of Arkansas and is the gold standard in base redevelopment across the nation,” said Owen. “Our successes can be attributed directly to the valuable partnerships and relationships we have nurtured both locally and nationally. The support of our communities, city and county governments, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and our congressional delegation have made most of Chaffee’s success possible.”