Conway’s historic Peanut Warehouse may find new life as destination for politicians and festivals.
An official with the company that owns the property announced Monday that negotiations are underway to lease the facility.
No deal has been finalized yet, but a decision is expected in the coming weeks, said Egerton Burroughs, president of the Burroughs Company.
"I really hope we can make that work," he said, adding that the potential tenant is interested in hosting political "stumps" and other events. "We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got."
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In August, Burroughs told Conway City Council that his cash-strapped company would be selling much of its riverfront property to cover debts. He repeated that explanation Tuesday and told city officials he planned to keep them updated on the firm’s plans.
"It’s good that we have interest," Burroughs said. "To be very honest with you, we need to sell some things to pay some bills."
Along with the Peanut Warehouse — which is more than 100 years old — the Burroughs Company is looking to sell or sign a long-term lease for the Lower River Warehouse.
Burroughs said Monday that a potential buyer for the that site hopes to dismantle the building and reassemble it as a restaurant. Another waterfront Burroughs property, the former Sidewheeler restaurant, is being converted into Bonfire, Rivertown Bistro owner Darren Smith’s new Southern smokehouse.
Burroughs called the restaurant "the brightest light we have shining."
But the longtime businessman has his eyes on an even loftier goal — building a small hotel near the Main Street bridge.
Burroughs told city leaders Tuesday that he can’t market the property to potential buyers because a old railroad spur lies on the property. He’s been in discussion with the railroad’s new owner about ways to address the problem.
"It takes time and we’re working on it," he said.
Mayor Alys Lawson praised Burroughs for his efforts.
"I want to go ahead and thank you and your company for being willing to invest in our community and to think outside the box," she said. "The development along the riverfront will be … a great addition to our community."