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Everything posted by Architect

  1. I hope that's true! It's pretty ironic really that the least heralded (and shortest) high-rise downtown is the building with the most lighting - color changing LED on the 21-story Union Plaza building.
  2. I noticed that last weekend. It is color changing. However, I REALLY WISH the new owners would go back and restore the original strips that used to alight every window around the building. It could be done even more efficiently with LED and of course now could be programmed to create images (like the traditional Christmas Tree) rather than physically wrapping fluorescent tubes with colored shrouds. p.s. A little birdie told me that there is a new lighting scheme planned to adorn the top of the Simmons Bank Tower.
  3. Yes, such a strange development. How could both parties get that far in planning for it to fall apart?! One interview I read said that Lyon still hoped to work it out (that Heifer is still their preferred site), but that they are committed to East Village and are looking at other properties in that area. Who knows, maybe they'll work it out.
  4. Yeah, not super excited about this...
  5. That is pretty confounding, given the city's effort to put walkable areas on a "road diet" like what was recently announced for Markham/Kavanaugh at Stifft Station.
  6. About 6-7 years ago, the prior (current?) owner had developed a full set of construction documents for the entire renovation of Donaghey. I've seen them...pretty impressive. At the last minute, they bailed. I have no idea why not. Beautiful building and potential.
  7. Agreed...I wasn't advocating for a hotel as much as I was lamenting it was office space, which is already oversaturated AND won't add any life after hours to Main Street. If it were apartments, it would have accomplished that goal, perhaps better than a hotel.
  8. Yeah, it had to do with some (short sighted) agreement that the hotel would NOT proceed until if/when the whole rest of the block was developed. Seemed like a strange requirement, and when the developer either couldn't or didn't proceed with renovating the south half of the block, the hotel didn't proceed. Really unfortunate...I would almost have preferred that site be a hip hotel as to another office property that is competing with already strained office towers downtown.
  9. That's a really cool "folded" canopy.
  10. Holy cow...I'm just glad someone finally commented in the NWA forum!
  11. I expect that the upcoming downtown master plan will call out the city for this shortsighted methodology. Here's hoping that the city will then comply with its own master plan guidelines. That block is planned for an 8-level parking deck I believe.
  12. I cannot believe how the city has completely abdicated their own Urban Use (UU) zoning requirements for Broadway. I mean, I get it farther south towards Broadway to an extent, but that Tropical Smoothie is just an absolute travesty. It looks like an outparcel in Maumelle. Entirely inappropriate, to ruin the long-term urban fabric of the center of the city in exchange for a few near-term tax revenue dollars. Ridiculous.
  13. I totally agree with all of that...the Bank OZK location was a complete missed opportunity to contribute something meaningful to downtown rather than just another suburban office building in an area that did NOT need it, and of course Boyle and Donaghey are cued up to be something special when the right developer comes along. Those are really the only two major properties left of scale for redevelopment (and both will REALLY help Main Street when they happen). The TOTAL head scratcher was the state deciding to take the Alltel building "off line" for future economic development pursuits when the Raytheon deal fell through after the merger with United Technologies. So not only does the state now NOT have a huge building that could have been a lure, but they drained downtown of valuable lease space. Lose-lose situation...typical for this state. Ugh.
  14. Two out-of-sync venues catering to a non-existent college demographic with sub-par service close, and all of a sudden we have an existential crisis about the River Market. Maybe that's a bit harsh, but I do agree that the RM has to mature over time and find its footing given the change in the market over the past 25+ years. When it opened, it didn't have SOMA, or Main, or Argenta or East Village as competition! Moses Tucker has already leased the Library space for what I believe they stated was an exciting new concept. We'll see.
  15. Exactly. I think NWA is over hyped and Central is under appreciated. I don't think anyone needs to count out the potential of greater Little Rock over the long-term.
  16. The U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates for 2022. Lots of interesting data, but one interesting takeaway is that Conway is the state’s fastest-growing city in 2022. See article from Talk, Business & Politics: https://talkbusiness.net/2023/05/u-s-census-bureau-conway-states-fastest-growing-city-in-2022/?mc_cid=426f6d3022&mc_eid=5fcda0ee91 Little Rock MSA is estimated to have grown to 757,615 (+10,000 above 2020 - less than Metroplan estimates, which is about 762,000) NWA MSA is estimated to have grown to 576,403 (+30,000 above 2020)
  17. Presentations were made today (or yesterday?) to the North Little Rock City Board about a planned new 14 story mixed-use building on the old bus station property. It will contain a boutique hotel in the first six floors, 3 floors of office and additional floors for condos/apartments. If this advances, it will be a nice addition to Argenta and to the NLR skyline.
  18. Totally agree. Honestly, I get tired of the what is actually pretty solid growth among our peer cities inevitably being drowned out by all of the NWA hoopla. People are simple-minded. It's like "if X is doing great, Y must be doing bad" - it's like a zero sum game in the minds of most people!
  19. Metroplan has updated its population estimates for Central Arkansas for 2022. Candidly, it's surprisingly robust in my opinion, given the predictions/outlook of slower growth. Little Rock 2020 - 202,591 2022 - 205,525 (up 1.4%) Pulaski County 2020 - 399,125 2022 - 404,009 (up 1.2%) Central Arkansas (LR-NLR-Conway MSA) 2020 - 748,031 2022 - 760,933 (up 1.7%) Summary Total net change for the MSA was up almost 13,000 people in two years, of which... +11,502 due to net in-migration (this is a good stat) + 821 due to natural increase (births over deaths) If accurate, this rate of growth over 2 years is a higher clip than the metro experienced from 2010 to 2020 Link: https://metroplan.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/DemographicReview2022-v2.pdf Promising trends!
  20. The funny (sad?) thing about all of this development is that when Alltel (Verizon begat Simmons) Arena was designed, the WHOLE SITE ORIENTATION of the arena NW to SE was to point views from the entry plaza direct to the Little Rock skyline. Subsequent development is now rendering this irrelevant.
  21. Perhaps...it's also related to the fact that they can tie the need to an ongoing, new project and its impact, unlike I-630 which was effectively constructed 40 years ago.
  22. As you noted, this is only for planning, but there does seem to be a lot of momentum for this. Let's hope the feds see it that way and that they'll ultimately provide grants for what is likely a $100M plus project. While I think it would be interesting, the better place would be across I-630...that's the real scar through downtown.
  23. Oops! I didn't realize you posted a link in your original comment. My apology. That's why I was asking you to elaborate, ha! Either way, I didn't take from the article that the NLR site is ahead per se, though it looks like they've formally submitted an application for a conditional use permit. I do know that site work is underway at Top Golf.
  24. Elaborate. I've seen no evidence of construction at the old Wild River Country site nor any plumbing permits, while site development is well underway at the Top Golf location.
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