The Fort Smith Central Business Improvement District Commission will decide on Tuesday whether to approve the demolition of a building that is more than a century old.  

The commission will meet in the seventh floor board room of the Area Agency on Aging building at 524 Garrison Ave. at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to consider a request to demolish the building at 20-28 N. Sixth St. for a proposed parking lot, and a recommendation for a proposed conditional use permit for the parking lot, the agenda states.

In a memorandum to Fort Smith Deputy City Administrator Jeff Dingman dated Friday that was included in the meeting packet, Brenda Andrews of the Planning Department said the request to demolish this building, the Carney Building, for the development of a commercial parking lot was submitted by Bobby Aldridge, agent for George Catsavis. The commission approved the demolition of the building at 601 Garrison Ave. in November and a parking lot expansion plan in January, according to minutes from its Jan. 15 meeting. If approved, the demolition of the Carney Building would allow for the development of a larger parking lot with 108 total parking spaces and landscaping.

The Arkansas Architectural Resources Form for the Carney Building states it was built in about 1905, Andrews said. It is listed as the J.B. Ridgley Merchandise Company. In addition, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program classifies the building as contributing to the Garrison Avenue Historic District.

"Parking lots in the C-6 zoning district are allowed with planning commission approval of a conditional use application," Andrews said. "Mr. Aldridge intends to submit a conditional use application for consideration by the planning commission at its May 14th meeting. The parking lot will also require planning commission/board of zoning adjustment approval of a variance from the unified development ordinance driveway separation requirements."

Andrews said staff is seeking the CBID's consideration of the request to demolish the Carney Building, as well as input on the conditional use and variance applications, prior to the planning commission/board of zoning adjustment's consideration of these requests.

Tuesday's CBID commission meeting will also feature discussion related to follow-up from a CBID town hall meeting that was held Feb. 20, the agenda states. The commission is slated to discuss downtown security needs with local businesses and Arkansas Senate Bill 492 of 2019, which authorizes the designation of entertainment districts, as well.