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Architect

Little Rock Midtown Area

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[ALL -I'm starting this thread to cover subjects/topics in the "midtown" area of Little Rock - namely the Markham/University corridor - NOT to be confused with another thread called "Midtowne Little Rock" related to the shopping center of that name at the NE corner of Markham & University]

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Long time landmark for the area, The Summit House, is no more. It is taking the name The Highland Midtown along with a makeover including the exterior color.

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The renovations at the former "Summit House" (now "Highland Midtown") appear to be coming along nicely. I was hopeful this would be tastefully done, sympathetic to the fantastic mid-century design of Noland Blass, and I think it is. I actually really like the orange (and even if someone were to dislike now or in the future, this is easy to change and isn't a "structural" or damaging modification to the building). I'm glad to see this be appropriately redeveloped, unlike the former "Riviera" tower in Riverdale, which in my opinion is a travesty of the highest order.

IMG_1158.jpg

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Arkansas Business has a large article on the redevelopment to occur at the Northwest corner of 630 and University. PR is PR, but it sounds like the firm is going to put a significant amount of money into this development and it will be a major project. I'm hoping they execute well and incorporate some walkable elements. 

It's said to be very restaurant heavy across 11 buildings totaling nearly 60,000 square feet, not including two hotels. They will be demo'ing all existing buildings and re-routing streets and infrastructure to better use the land. 

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2 hours ago, arky said:

Arkansas Business has a large article on the redevelopment to occur at the Northwest corner of 630 and University. PR is PR, but it sounds like the firm is going to put a significant amount of money into this development and it will be a major project. I'm hoping they execute well and incorporate some walkable elements. 

It's said to be very restaurant heavy across 11 buildings totaling nearly 60,000 square feet, not including two hotels. They will be demo'ing all existing buildings and re-routing streets and infrastructure to better use the land. 

That’s great news. I hope there will be restaurants that’s not presence in the market. Do you have a link to the article?

Edited by ecity3138

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9 hours ago, ecity3138 said:

That’s great news. I hope there will be restaurants that’s not presence in the market. Do you have a link to the article?

Here is a link to a flier from the developer (hopefully it works). It includes a site plan and a few renderings. Looks nice, although I guess this replaces previously announced plans for this location that included a grocery store.

https://shopcompanies.com/sites/default/files/district-midtown.pdf

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7 minutes ago, Littlerock499 said:

Here is a link to a flier from the developer (hopefully it works). It includes a site plan and a few renderings. Looks nice, although I guess this replaces previously announced plans for this location that included a grocery store.

https://shopcompanies.com/sites/default/files/district-midtown.pdf

The rendering looks very mordern and upscale. I’m hoping a Westin Hotel or Hyatt Regency would locate there. Also, I hope there will be nice upscale restaurants (ex: Ruth Chris or an upscale bar like Houston’s) new to the market.

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I really like the reconstruction of the  on-ramp from University Avenue to I-630 .  The diagrams show the existing entrance from University Avenue  to I-630 will be removed.   Traffic from University will still enter the existing on-ramp but will be diverted to a parallel road that won't connect to 630 until passing by the center and then joining I-630 traffic near Hughes Street.   It gives an opportunity for traffic from the center to go west on I-630 by getting onto the parallel road directly without having to go to University Avenue.    The existing on-ramp near Bluebird will be the only on-ramp for University traffic going west on I-630.

 

I hated it when Arkansas Specialty or whoever it was built that building and then condemned McKinley Street.    Traffic couldn't turn exit Park Plaza by going  south on McKinley Street to get onto I-630 without detouring around that building.   The new diagram doesn't provide a remedy for this when leaving the west side of Park Plaza and heading west on I-630.  Just my rant about that.  

Edited by Arkanzin

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On 4/16/2018 at 10:41 PM, Littlerock499 said:

Here is a link to a flier from the developer (hopefully it works). It includes a site plan and a few renderings. Looks nice, although I guess this replaces previously announced plans for this location that included a grocery store.

https://shopcompanies.com/sites/default/files/district-midtown.pdf

I like the style very much, but I'm disappointed with this density.  It's very open/suburban in feel, unlike everything else along University Avenue.  This aspect is disappointing.  I hope it's successful either way.

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On 4/16/2018 at 10:51 PM, ecity3138 said:

The rendering looks very mordern and upscale. I’m hoping a Westin Hotel or Hyatt Regency would locate there. Also, I hope there will be nice upscale restaurants (ex: Ruth Chris or an upscale bar like Houston’s) new to the market.

Don't see a Westin or Hyatt going there if they stick to their plans of one hotel being 120 rooms and the other 90. 

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13 hours ago, skirby said:

Don't see a Westin or Hyatt going there if they stick to their plans of one hotel being 120 rooms and the other 90. 

Maybe an Aloft or Hyatt Place at best with those number of rooms.

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On 4/18/2018 at 5:28 PM, Architect said:

I like the style very much, but I'm disappointed with this density.  It's very open/suburban in feel, unlike everything else along University Avenue.  This aspect is disappointing.  I hope it's successful either way.

Is there anything that requires "density"?  I don't think there are any guidelines or ordinances that require the use to be high density.  The Sears and Sears Auto Center were the only things on the property.

I like the suburban feel to the project.   There's no need for the project to be a reproduction of the Park Avenue Center. 

 

 

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On 4/20/2018 at 10:06 AM, Arkanzin said:

Is there anything that requires "density"?  I don't think there are any guidelines or ordinances that require the use to be high density.  The Sears and Sears Auto Center were the only things on the property.

I like the suburban feel to the project.   There's no need for the project to be a reproduction of the Park Avenue Center. 

 

 

No, there's not a requirement.  It's just good practice, particularly in a more urban part of town where the predominant (new) development is following this pattern.   Regardless, I've never heard anyone really advocate or promote "suburban" or low-density development as a desired trait.  Sprawl isn't something our citizens asked for, rather, we've just been subjected to it.

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