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 Co.
“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 Monday 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 Co. is looking to sell or sign a long-term lease for the Lower River Warehouse.
Burroughs said Monday that a potential buyer for the 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 an even loftier goal — seeing someone build a small hotel near the Main Street bridge.
Burroughs told city leaders Monday that he can’t market the hotel site to potential buyers because an old railroad spur lies on the property. He’s been in discussion with the railroad’s new owner about ways to address the problem. A spokesman for the R.J. Corman Railroad Group could not be reached for comment.
“It takes time and we’re working on it,” Burroughs 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.”