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NWA Growth

NWA City Growth   27 members have voted

  1. 1. Which NWA city is most aggressive in growth, but handling it correctly?

    • Fayetteville
    • Rogers
    • Bentonville
    • Springdale
      0
    • Siloam Springs
      0
    • Tonitown
      0
    • Johnson
      0
    • Farmington
      0

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64 posts in this topic

Which NWA city is most aggressive in growth, but handling it correctly?

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I'd say Rogers because they not only have the opportunity but are welcoming to growth. They do guide it but not to the point of driving good development away. The only downside to Rogers is the height restrictions in place for buildings- they are too limiting and will without good reason, IMO.

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I'd have to say either Bentonville or Rogers.  Fayetteville can't seem to make up its mind if it wants to grow or to stagnate, to spawl or to develop density.  Fayetteville has the greatest land area, the region's only true downtown and has excellent room for growth west & east, but it has no cohesive plan to develop it, it has hamstrung its own 2030 plan for in-fill due to allowing NIMBYs far too much say in city planning and has very poor civic leadership.  Springdale is poised for a lot of growth around the new Don Tyson interchange and the future 412 bypass, but also seems to lack leadership and has by far the most stagnate downtown of the four major cities.  Bentonville is getting the most new cultural institutions, has a thriving downtown but seems hampered by being relatively landlocked.  Rogers seems to have the right mix of land, leadership and vision for the time being - which as a Fayettevillian, I'm loath to admit.

Edited by JamesE
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I would agree with the comments above.  I love Fayetteville however, they lack the major corporate presence that we see in cities to the north.  The U of A drives a certain amount of growth - primarily in Multifamily housing and retail, but not much else.  Without a major corporate anchor, coupled with a reputation of higher taxes and higher regulation (IMHO), I would assume that Fayetteville's growth will lag behind other cities in the region.

 

My money is on Rogers to be the center of growth.

 

Thoughts?

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I have to agree with the above statements as well.  I am from Fayetteville and I want to see it grow and prosper but with the current thinking on the city council and by a vocal minority I just don't think that it will grow as rapidly.  That being said the University is booming right now and I don't think that will slow too much over the next 5 years or so.  If they can continue that growth and get the high tech sector to continue to improve, we might be able to keep more and more of the students here. Or even bring in larger greener companies. The good thing is that the University is not hampered by the city's overly strict regulations.  My money is on Rogers/Bentonville but I don't have a clue which one will handle it correctly...

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My vote is for Bentonville. Mainly because the growth looks good too. Rogers is the most welcoming, but the overall scheme is disorganized, and dated.

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Fayetteville has ... very poor civic leadership.

I completely agree.

 

From the mayor to the Planning Commission.  

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Apologies... I just realized I spelled Tontitown wrong when I posted this.  Oops.

 

My vote goes to Bentonville first, and Rogers second.  To me, growth includes things like revitalization of older neighborhoods and corridors, and Rogers has more than their fair share.  Rogers has such a divide between the older part of town, and the newer part of Rogers.  I don't necessarily see that in Bentonville.

 

However, I think Springdale may become a front runner with the Don Tyson Parkway interchange, and the documents I've found for street improvements to the west of the interchange.  Also, the planned Walmart at the Elm Springs Road interchange... my opinions of Walmart aside.  But, like Rogers, Springdale has a great deal of older neighborhoods, and the dreaded Thompson Street and Sunset Avenue.

 

And Johnson is building a new "Johnson Mill Blvd" to I-540.  Maybe Johnson will lose its rep as a speed trap? :)

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Fayetteville may also add another Interstate exchange in the future just north of the Garland/Hwy 112 exit.  Van Ashe Avenue will be extended from Gregg straight across the field to Hwy 112 starting in early 2014.  It will go directly under the interstate there as well.  I would expect that area to be a perfect place for hotels, restaurants, etc.  It will have very good access from the "Uptown" area and be a great connection to Sam's.  I believe that Hwy 112 will also be widened in a few years.

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Fayetteville may also add another Interstate exchange in the future just north of the Garland/Hwy 112 exit.  Van Ashe Avenue will be extended from Gregg straight across the field to Hwy 112 starting in early 2014.  It will go directly under the interstate there as well.  I would expect that area to be a perfect place for hotels, restaurants, etc.  It will have very good access from the "Uptown" area and be a great connection to Sam's.  I believe that Hwy 112 will also be widened in a few years.

 

Fayetteville has considered extending Joyce Blvd to I-540 for an interchange.  I'm not sure where that idea is at now.  This is the first I've heard about extending Van Asche Drive.  Considering the proximity to I-540, it would most likely be an overpass.

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Joyce would have to go at a major angle as there is a good sized hill just to the west of where Joyce ends.  Van Ashe already goes under the interstate and only has to be extended across a field.  Extending Joyce would not be cost effective as it would run into Zero Mountain and the southern part of Johnson.

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I think that Rogers is doing the best at handling growth.  There is a lot of new development there, and it seems that the traffic is not too horrible.  It seems easy enough to get from one major area of town to another.  I don't spend a lot of time in Benton County, but it seems that they have a better hold on the planning for sprawl.  Fayettevile seems to always be one step behind.  They try to fix a problem instead of prevent it in the first place.  Springdale is the worst by far.  Thompson is always a nightmare and 412 is as bad as a train wreck.   Don Tyson is a great idea that should have been done years ago. 

 

Honestly, from a traffic flow standpoint, the planning around all of NWA really baffles me.  We came from a city with 1M people and the traffic was not nearly as bad.  The cities were laid out in a grid, and the roads were all at least 4 lanes in each direction.  Every intersection had at least 4 main lanes and 4 turn lanes (two in each direction).

 

The city was ugly, but effective.  NWA is such a pretty place, and I really like driving though greenspace to get from one place to another, but the meandering two lane roads are not good for traffic. I hope that all the city planners can grow the city but keep the natural state charm.

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Joyce would have to go at a major angle as there is a good sized hill just to the west of where Joyce ends.  Van Ashe already goes under the interstate and only has to be extended across a field.  Extending Joyce would not be cost effective as it would run into Zero Mountain and the southern part of Johnson.

There was once a proposal by Johnson to extend Joyce and link up with main street past the rail and creek. The homeowner there at the light fought hard along with business owners in the drag through town as it would cut down on through traffic.

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I think that Rogers is doing the best at handling growth.  There is a lot of new development there, and it seems that the traffic is not too horrible.  It seems easy enough to get from one major area of town to another.  I don't spend a lot of time in Benton County, but it seems that they have a better hold on the planning for sprawl.  Fayettevile seems to always be one step behind.  They try to fix a problem instead of prevent it in the first place.  Springdale is the worst by far.  Thompson is always a nightmare and 412 is as bad as a train wreck.   Don Tyson is a great idea that should have been done years ago. 

 

Honestly, from a traffic flow standpoint, the planning around all of NWA really baffles me.  We came from a city with 1M people and the traffic was not nearly as bad.  The cities were laid out in a grid, and the roads were all at least 4 lanes in each direction.  Every intersection had at least 4 main lanes and 4 turn lanes (two in each direction).

 

The city was ugly, but effective.  NWA is such a pretty place, and I really like driving though greenspace to get from one place to another, but the meandering two lane roads are not good for traffic. I hope that all the city planners can grow the city but keep the natural state charm.

Consider the fact that NWA is a collection of numerous small towns growing far beyond what they were planned to be. Downtown Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, and Bentonville are all grids, but the growth to the suburbs of each city and all the areas in between have created the traffic issues. There was no single city with a city center that could be the nucleus the MSA grew from. That's going to be the challenge we battle for the foreseeable future.

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Somewhere there is map showing a new interchange on I540 for a Joyce Blvd. extension. It would be at the top of the hill between the Fulbright and Johnson interchanges. The idea is that is would create much better access to the NWA mall area from the north and even with the Van Asche extension, flyover and Johnson Rd improvements such a project is needed. If the plan to extend Joyce to the Johnson exit had happened a new interchange wouldn't be needed but as it is accessing the mall area causes a driver to go through speed trap Johnson with it's narrow 2 lane roads that need much improvement or go all the way around to the south- neither is a good option. For the NWA Mall and Steele Crossing area to realize it's full potential it needs direct access from I540 on a 4 lane road at least and a 6 lane if possible.

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Here is a map of each state's annual growth according to new estimates released Monday by the Census Bureau.

 

You guys certainly know more about it than I do, but I was a little disappointed that Arkansas was tied for second to last in the South with Alabama with .3% growth, and only .1% above Mississippi.

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East Arkansas and South Arkansas continue to bleed off population.

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Paper says today that Bentonville's population has crossed the 40,000 threshold and is on track to be 65,000 by 2030.  That averages out to 1,600+ new residents per year in "Bennie" up to that year.

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NWA ranked 4th in job growth last year.

 

http://talkbusiness.net/2014/01/nw-arkansas-fourth-nation-job-growth-jonesboro-eleventh/

 

And its mostly good paying jobs:

 

Over the first 11 months of 2013, the Northwest Arkansas area added 1,299 jobs in health care and social assistance with an average salary of $48,430; 1,181 jobs in management of companies and enterprises with an average salary of $125,393; and 681 jobs in retail trade with an average salary of $27,763.
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It showed different averages across three sectors.   I mainly wanted to point out that service sector jobs were only a small part of the growth, which is great.

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Paper says today that Bentonville's population has crossed the 40,000 threshold and is on track to be 65,000 by 2030.  That averages out to 1,600+ new residents per year in "Bennie" up to that year.

What are the population stats for Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers up until 2030?

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Sounds like the NWA metro is believed to be at 496,000 and is expected to pass 500,000 sometime this summer.  Passing 500,000 could also trigger some businesses to move into the area once we move past that threshold.  

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July 2013 population estimates were released yesterday by county.  In the NWA metro, here's the breakdown in increase to 2013 from 2012.

 

Benton County - 237,297 up from 232,658.

 

Washington County - 216,410 up from 211,552.

 

Madison County - 15,701 up from 15,615.

 

McDonald County, MO - 22,558, down from 22,902.

 

This is a grand total for the four-county region of 491,966 residents as of July 1, 2013 (estimate).

 

What stands out obviously to me is that having a "four-county" metro here doesn't mean all that much, because in Madison and McDonald, growth is non-existent.  Benton and Washington County carry all of the population here.  Also, Washington County actually added more people than Benton County did over the past year. 

Edited by wmr
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