The University of Central Arkansas for Community and Economic Development is hosting a small developer conference in May for anyone interested in real estate development and more.

Organizers are encouraging both current and aspiring real estate developers, financial institutions, city officials and others involved in the development process to attend the day-long workshop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 31 in McCastlain Hall at UCA.

The cost to attend is $100 and includes breakfast, lunch and workshop materials.

Matthew Petty, a principal at the Infill Group and faculty member at the Incremental Development Alliance, will host a guest lecture — while free and open to the public, registration is required — to introduce participants to what will be taught at the conference, from 1-2 p.m. April 5, at UCA Downtown, located at 1105 W. Oak St.

Petty is will cover the small-scale development movement and the basics of how to become a small-scale real estate developer.  

To learn more about the conference and guest lecture, visit

The release stated that the event on May 31 will expose participants to the “big picture view” of small-scale real estate development; faculty members of the Incremental Development Alliance, a nonprofit focused on creating small-scale developers and strengthening communities, will provide training.

Conference topics include picking a development project, making development a reality, discovering areas for improvement and achieving development goals.

“Small-scale development is important because it promotes infill development within communities, eliminating sprawl that puts a strain on city services,” Shelley Mehl, associate vice president for Outreach and Community Engagement at UCA, said. “By hosting this conference, UCA can play a role in training small-scale developers and community advocates, which will improve the development process.”

This event is provided in partnership with the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, Conway Development Corp., Conway Convention and Visitors Bureau, First Security Bank, Metroplan and the UCA Division of Outreach and Community Engagement.

“When a small development fails, it hurts more than just the bank and the owner, it hurts the entire community,” Jamie Gates, executive vice president of Conway Development Corp, said.

He said the conference will give property owners and developers the tools they need to be financially successful and grow their community.  

“The urban places that people love the most are organic, fine-grained places that were originally developed by small entrepreneurs making small investments that together made great and timeless places,” Tab Townsell, executive director of Metroplan, said. “These places are what cities and towns and a large part of an emerging market are trying desperately to revitalize or recreate. At the UCA small-scale development conference, you can get your start in learning the how to become such a creator of great places.”

For more information on the small developer conference, visit call Shelby Fiegel at 501-450-5269.