The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) says it's granting $1 million towards a marina for North Little Rock.
A spokesperson for the DOI tells KARK 4 News the application was made by Arkansas Game and Fish, who teamed with a private organization to build the so-called Rockwater Marina downstream from Burns Park.
Jim Jackson, one of the owners, says the marina will include 136 slips, accommodating boats up to 100 feet long.
Now that the DOI has announced the grant, Jackson says construction on the first phase (36 transient slips) will begin in by April. He wasn't sure when construction of the second phase would begin, but says the remaining 100 slips will be leased on a year-long basis.
Boaters will also be able to fuel at the marina. The total cost is estimated at $1.6 million.
Boaters, yacht owners, and marine store owners tell KARK 4 News there's been demand for a marina near downtown Little Rock for a long time. They say the Arkansas River is lacks amenities for boaters in the area, and the marina will likely lure travelers that wouldn't have come otherwise.
The Army Corps of Engineers in Little Rock says it's also received an application to build a marina just downriver of the Clinton Presidential Library near East Little Rock Park. A spokesperson for the Corps says they've neither approved nor denied the application, but they're working with the applicant on several concerns raised by state and federal agencies.
The proposed marina would offer more than 400 slips.