There has been little news circulating of late regarding the convention/event center proposed for Greenville.

That could be about to change, according to real estate professional Charlie Patterson.

Patterson, chairman of a committee of local business and government leaders which was assigned the task of investigating the idea, expects major developments to occur within weeks.

“I’m as optimistic as I ever was that it can happen,” Patterson said.

The committee is investigating the feasibility of the proposal from Global Entertainment, which has helped build projects in several other cities.

Global Entertainment has suggested the state-of-the-art arena could play host to everything from concerts and conventions to minor league hockey, and cost around $38-$40 million.

Patterson’s committee has not met in more than a month, as there was little further to discuss other than the initial concepts offered by Global. But he said the developer has now promised to provide additional details about the proposal.

“They are going to be bringing us a suggestion as to how many acres would be needed and where it might be located,” Patterson said. “And, they are going to bring us some suggestions on the various methods of public financing available. They have told us that not long after Thanksgiving they will bring that information to us.”

Although no specifics have been revealed, public speculation as to the eventual location for the arena, if it is ever built, has begun to match the recommendations being presented by Global.

“It is expected to be somewhere in the vicinity of the intersection of Monty Stratton and Interstate 30,” Patterson said. “That is not cast in concrete, though.”

The region is the same one which is being looked at by the City of Greenville as a possible site for a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ), which would help pay for the building of the Monty Stratton Parkway, along with an extension and upgrade of both Wellington Street and eventually Traders Road. The new construction would be tied into the rebuilding of the State Highway 34/Wesley Street overpass.

Should the committee members like what they hear, and decide to continue the process, then the details of how to pay for the project would be ironed out.

“I don’t see how it would not involve some sort of public financing,” Patterson said. “It is just too big a project.”

If a plan for financing can be developed — and Patterson noted that is still a pretty sizable “if” — then a series of public hearings would be scheduled to inform area residents about the overall proposal.