After years of waiting and unknowns, the River Valley Sports Complex land is now up for sale.
Fort Smith city administration announced Tuesday morning two parcels of land at Chaffee Crossing have been put up for sale with a legal notice in the Times Record.
One rectangular tract at 7709 Taylor Ave. runs east-west along Taylor Avenue and is about 5.26 acres. The second plot is roughly 62.9 acres and sits between Taylor Avenue, Ward Avenue and Roberts Boulevard. Both tracts total 68.16 acres.
This was supposed to be the site of the multimillion-dollar sports complex with eight competition-level softball fields.
The project was headed by Sebastian County Election Commissioner Lee Webb and former State Sen. Jake Files, who entered into a $1.6 million contract with the city in 2014. The two developers were expected to complete project with financial and in-kind donations. It was supposed to be finished in July 2015.
Fort Smith paid out $1.08 million of its contract before it terminated the contract in February 2017 after two deadline extensions and lack of meeting project milestones.
“At this point, the best thing to do is offer the land for sale and recoup whatever public monies we can that were lost when RVSC failed,” said City Administrator Carl Geffken in a press release.
The city published a request for proposals last year, seeking a developer to finish the complex or do something similar. It received one proposal, but Geffken said the two parties worked together for several months but couldn’t turn the organization’s idea into a viable project for them and the city.
Geffken said at the beginning of the year he was thought it would be best to return the land to the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, but ultimately, the decision would be up to the Board of Directors.
Legal notice for the sale is also on the city website under the Purchasing Department and “bid solicitations.”
Sealed bids are due no later than 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5 at the city offices, 623 Garrison Ave., Room 512.
This is a developing story. The Times Record will update it as more information becomes available.