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Just drove by today, and there is Raising Cane's signage on the building.

I would say that the pushing dirt around and a few drainage bits is probably pretty important.  The site was originally meant for one main building and an outparcel. But now going to several buildings

Ouch!  Burn....  but I agree with you at the same time.  Not sure who is going to end up occupying that space.  But it seems a bit odd to build all three buildings with not a single occupant.  But hey

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On 2/7/2020 at 9:11 AM, SangreRaVen said:

Otherwise you will end up like the three retail strips down Chenal that are sitting empty but are fully completed and ready for businesses to lease. 

Ouch!  Burn....  but I agree with you at the same time.  Not sure who is going to end up occupying that space.  But it seems a bit odd to build all three buildings with not a single occupant.  But hey what do I know.  

On 2/7/2020 at 9:48 AM, Arkanzin said:

Where is Raisin' Cane's going? 

Cane's is going up at one of the outparcel on the north end of the development site.  

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I spoke to the developer of this project a couple of months ago about any update on what tenants are planning to open at the former Sears site and they said there was no tenants signed on at the development. It appears to me that the developers are struggling to attract tenants and just ashamed to say it publicly.

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29 minutes ago, ecity3138 said:

I spoke to the developer of this project a couple of months ago about any update on what tenants are planning to open at the former Sears site and they said there was no tenants signed on at the development. It appears to me that the developers are struggling to attract tenants and just ashamed to say it publicly.

I don’t know why they didn’t just replace it with a larger box retailer that’s new to the market, like Costco or something...traditional, small storefront retail is under assault, and it’s no surprise if they’re having trouble filling that type of development.

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37 minutes ago, Architect said:

I don’t know why they didn’t just replace it with a larger box retailer that’s new to the market, like Costco or something...traditional, small storefront retail is under assault, and it’s no surprise if they’re having trouble filling that type of development.

The short answer to your question here is that the price point for acquisition of the property was too high for a single use big box retailer.  Only the development of a center would appeal to financial backers of the development.  Unfortunately for Park Plaza, I think the success of this development will mean certain trouble for Park Avenue and Park Plaza alike.  You're right.  Traditional retail is suffering huge and will continue a downward trend for the foreseeable future.  Unless Simon Malls or someone reinvests a TON of money into Park Plaza, you will unfortunately see it deteriorate.  This Midtown project will not garner all of the retail businesses and so we will witness further fracture in the retail centers of the city.  

The Raising Cane's is going either in Lot 2 or Lot 4 of the site plan as can be seen in this link.  THE%20DISTRICT%20AT%20MIDTOWN.pdf?v=1560

Lastly, ecity I'm not entirely sure who you spoke to at the developer but they either don't want to disclose who they have or...maybe something else happened.  Not sure.  I'm not at liberty to disclose brands but they do have sincere interest if not a fully developed deal for a 104  room hotel property on the NW corner of the development site.  They also have two restaurant deals done.  If you'll look at their flyer they are mainly after a mass of restaurant deals.  Which no less than 6 drive thrus shown on the map.  It will remain to be seen if the City of Little Rock will grant that many.  It will also depend on what the neighbors say since Briarwood and other Midtown voices are always heard so loud.  Keep in mind how big Park Avenue was scheduled to be until the POAs started protesting. 

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The short answer to your question here is that the price point for acquisition of the property was too high for a single use big box retailer.  Only the development of a center would appeal to financial backers of the development.  Unfortunately for Park Plaza, I think the success of this development will mean certain trouble for Park Avenue and Park Plaza alike.  You're right.  Traditional retail is suffering huge and will continue a downward trend for the foreseeable future.  Unless Simon Malls or someone reinvests a TON of money into Park Plaza, you will unfortunately see it deteriorate.  This Midtown project will not garner all of the retail businesses and so we will witness further fracture in the retail centers of the city.  
The Raising Cane's is going either in Lot 2 or Lot 4 of the site plan as can be seen in this link.  THE%2520DISTRICT%2520AT%2520MIDTOWN.pdf?v=1560968581&key=7a114db7aae8296e3000be5b918e560e21a9a36c43b7f87ad8d8b209cf45c2fa
Lastly, ecity I'm not entirely sure who you spoke to at the developer but they either don't want to disclose who they have or...maybe something else happened.  Not sure.  I'm not at liberty to disclose brands but they do have sincere interest if not a fully developed deal for a 104  room hotel property on the NW corner of the development site.  They also have two restaurant deals done.  If you'll look at their flyer they are mainly after a mass of restaurant deals.  Which no less than 6 drive thrus shown on the map.  It will remain to be seen if the City of Little Rock will grant that many.  It will also depend on what the neighbors say since Briarwood and other Midtown voices are always heard so loud.  Keep in mind how big Park Avenue was scheduled to be until the POAs started protesting. 

Can you elaborate on the Park Avenue scale that the POA impacted? I swear, some groups think they’re doing good when in fact they make things work. My point being that the development has always seemed hobbled...so very strange that they didn’t include a hotel when there’s got to be a HUGE demand in that area (notwithstanding the Four Points by Sheraton, which was a depressed property at that time). For instance, why in the world did they leave the parking deck if they weren’t going to integrate it into the retail and/or apartment design? It’s practically useless. The whole things seems like a half-hearted attempt...it had such promise.


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27 minutes ago, Architect said:


Can you elaborate on the Park Avenue scale that the POA impacted? I swear, some groups think they’re doing good when in fact they make things work. My point being that the development has always seemed hobbled...so very strange that they didn’t include a hotel when there’s got to be a HUGE demand in that area (notwithstanding the Four Points by Sheraton, which was a depressed property at that time). For instance, why in the world did they leave the parking deck if they weren’t going to integrate it into the retail and/or apartment design? It’s practically useless. The whole things seems like a half-hearted attempt...it had such promise.


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I think at this point representatives from the four neighborhood associations that protested the plans laid forth by Strode Development during the procurement of Park Avenue are largely gone.  If they are still around or live in the area they will likely have forgotten or fail to admit if they do remember that Park Avenue was supposed to have been something very grand.  With double the number of apartments and retail areas in a multi-story indoor structure that would have rivaled Park Plaza in size.  But ultimately enough compromises were made to kill any hopes of the original vision for the development.  So many concessions were made by Strode to please the neighbors in fact that certain elements were no longer functional.  Then the costs started exploding.  In order to recoup the costs of site acquisition, the rents per SF became some of the highest in the city.  That ultimately drove away many potential tenants.  Target and LA fitness (who uses the parking deck the most) got the best deals as traffic drivers to attract other tenants.  So to answer your question I think the parking deck was ultimately left as part of an original plan that never quite went to plan because of the deal getting chopped up by the desires of the neighbors.  That's probably not what a lot of people want to hear but invariably in my opinion is the truth. 

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3 hours ago, LRretail said:

The short answer to your question here is that the price point for acquisition of the property was too high for a single use big box retailer.  Only the development of a center would appeal to financial backers of the development.  Unfortunately for Park Plaza, I think the success of this development will mean certain trouble for Park Avenue and Park Plaza alike.  You're right.  Traditional retail is suffering huge and will continue a downward trend for the foreseeable future.  Unless Simon Malls or someone reinvests a TON of money into Park Plaza, you will unfortunately see it deteriorate.  This Midtown project will not garner all of the retail businesses and so we will witness further fracture in the retail centers of the city.  

The Raising Cane's is going either in Lot 2 or Lot 4 of the site plan as can be seen in this link.  THE%20DISTRICT%20AT%20MIDTOWN.pdf?v=1560

Lastly, ecity I'm not entirely sure who you spoke to at the developer but they either don't want to disclose who they have or...maybe something else happened.  Not sure.  I'm not at liberty to disclose brands but they do have sincere interest if not a fully developed deal for a 104  room hotel property on the NW corner of the development site.  They also have two restaurant deals done.  If you'll look at their flyer they are mainly after a mass of restaurant deals.  Which no less than 6 drive thrus shown on the map.  It will remain to be seen if the City of Little Rock will grant that many.  It will also depend on what the neighbors say since Briarwood and other Midtown voices are always heard so loud.  Keep in mind how big Park Avenue was scheduled to be until the POAs started protesting. 

The names of the restaurants (Uncle Julios Mexican Restaurant was listed as a possible tenant) was at one point listed on the website until it was taken down. I was actually told by the developers (during the early stages of development) at one point of them working on some restaurants but nothing has yet happened nor has there been a public announcement of what tenants or hotel would locate at the center even though it’s been two years since the developers bought the property. The two restaurants deals are most likely existing brands in the market (Chili’s maybe) rather than new to the market type brands. I’m predicting typical fast food restaurants (Burger King, Raising Cane, etc)  at the center which is nothing special unless you account for something like In & Out Burger though we have enough burger places in the market. 
 

 

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9 hours ago, Architect said:


 My point being that the development has always seemed hobbled...so very strange that they didn’t include a hotel when there’s got to be a HUGE demand in that area (notwithstanding the Four Points by Sheraton, which was a depressed property at that time).


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From what I recall, the NW building was a hotel site. It was not built with the rest of the apartment buildings (which were all supposed to be first floor retail instead of just one).  Even after it was built, it was repainted so there must have been a change in plans at some point. The developers also wanted the Target as two story but they said no so their footprint is massive.

image.thumb.png.320eb30786512bd42fab8aebd2669c88.png

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From what I recall, the NW building was a hotel site. It was not built with the rest of the apartment buildings (which were all supposed to be first floor retail instead of just one).  Even after it was built, it was repainted so there must have been a change in plans at some point. The developers also wanted the Target as two story but they said no so their footprint is massive.
image.thumb.png.320eb30786512bd42fab8aebd2669c88.png


I swear, this town continually shoots itself in the foot. Who’s opposed to two story?! Argh.

By the way, I’ve always wondered why it isn’t a Super Target. I mean, Shreveport has one - of all places.


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I remember the hotel being on the original plan and the Super Target but yeah, the little groups start complaining and get in the way a lot of the times.  I also remember the original plan had like walk ways going over University over to the hospital so ppl dint have to cross traffic. 

 

-R

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2 hours ago, Architect said:

I swear, this town continually shoots itself in the foot. Who’s opposed to two story?! Argh.

By the way, I’ve always wondered why it isn’t a Super Target. I mean, Shreveport has one - of all places.


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Target said no from what I remember. That change snowballed into the rest of the development being kind of blah.

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Target said no from what I remember. That change snowballed into the rest of the development being kind of blah.

Again though, I see them in smaller, less affluent, less urban markets than Little Rock, so that’s always been a bit of a surprise. That may have been impacted by the Wal-Mart grocery influence.


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14 hours ago, Smith said:

From what I recall, the NW building was a hotel site. It was not built with the rest of the apartment buildings (which were all supposed to be first floor retail instead of just one).  Even after it was built, it was repainted so there must have been a change in plans at some point. The developers also wanted the Target as two story but they said no so their footprint is massive.

image.thumb.png.320eb30786512bd42fab8aebd2669c88.png

You're correct.  The NW corner was supposed to be a hotel.  The additional apartments there were purely a filler after they couldn't get a hotel developer to take root.  The price of site acquisition here was RIDICULOUS.  From what I understood 160 room property would have had to be constructed in order to make financial sense but the risk was too great at the time so the site sat empty forever.  Then the apartment developer made Strode an offer that was accepted as a last minute deal as they exited the project.  Park Avenue has had an EXTREMELY hard time getting filled.  The tenants on the first floor of the apartment building to the east is a testament to this point.  Panera, Newks and Potbelly all in the same building much less in the same center.  I don't know another landlord that would do that to their tenants.  In commercial real estate that is simply irresponsible and unethical.  But that's also my $0.02 for what it's worth. 

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Park Avenue has had an EXTREMELY hard time getting filled.  The tenants on the first floor of the apartment building to the east is a testament to this point.  Panera, Newks and Potbelly all in the same building much less in the same center.  I don't know another landlord that would do that to their tenants.  In commercial real estate that is simply irresponsible and unethical.  But that's also my $0.02 for what it's worth. 

Can you elaborate on this last point? I’m not following the issue about what’s irresponsible.


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6 hours ago, Architect said:


Can you elaborate on this last point? I’m not following the issue about what’s irresponsible.
 

Newks, Potbelly, and Panera all three constitute essentially the same type of business.  50% or more (the majority) of sales come from sandwiches or the same product.  Typically landlords grant exclusivity for restaurant tenants protecting them against internal competition to ensure their survival at least from competing brands in the same shopping center.  When Strode filled the space, they allowed for all 3 brands to take up residency in the SAME BUILDING much less the same center.  That's absolutely irresponsible to do.  But the developers took the money instead of protecting the tenants.  

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Newks, Potbelly, and Panera all three constitute essentially the same type of business.  50% or more (the majority) of sales come from sandwiches or the same product.  Typically landlords grant exclusivity for restaurant tenants protecting them against internal competition to ensure their survival at least from competing brands in the same shopping center.  When Strode filled the space, they allowed for all 3 brands to take up residency in the SAME BUILDING much less the same center.  That's absolutely irresponsible to do.  But the developers took the money instead of protecting the tenants.  

That makes sense, but ultimately, the tenants agreed to it or they wouldn’t have signed the lease, correct? Either way, why did Strode not spread them out if they had the space?


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2 hours ago, Architect said:


That makes sense, but ultimately, the tenants agreed to it or they wouldn’t have signed the lease, correct? Either way, why did Strode not spread them out if they had the space?
 

Technically you're right but look at it this way.  Panera signed on at least 2 years before their space even started construction.  Waited patiently for that whole time.  Was told by the developer "oh why would I do that?  I want to see everybody succeed.  We'd never put a competing business in next to you".  Did it anyways.  Now that Newks and Potbelly have both moved in the Panera franchisee is struggling and wants to sell as quickly as they can?  Sales are at nearly 50% where they were when they first opened and they're struggling to turn a profit.  Newks and Potbelly are like drunks being led around with a bottle of vodka.  Of course they are going to drink it.  Just not the honest way to do business but hey what do I know.  

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31 minutes ago, LRretail said:

Technically you're right but look at it this way.  Panera signed on at least 2 years before their space even started construction.  Waited patiently for that whole time.  Was told by the developer "oh why would I do that?  I want to see everybody succeed.  We'd never put a competing business in next to you".  Did it anyways.  Now that Newks and Potbelly have both moved in the Panera franchisee is struggling and wants to sell as quickly as they can?  Sales are at nearly 50% where they were when they first opened and they're struggling to turn a profit.  Newks and Potbelly are like drunks being led around with a bottle of vodka.  Of course they are going to drink it.  Just not the honest way to do business but hey what do I know.  

Interesting, and not that it ultimately matters, but what was the original delay, and then why would they put them all in the SAME building since they have other options?  By the way, I don't doubt your info, but man, if parking is any indication, those places are always busy.  Admittedly, I more often go to Newks, but it's always PACKED when I'm there.

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On 2/12/2020 at 12:24 PM, SangreRaVen said:

I remember the hotel being on the original plan and the Super Target but yeah, the little groups start complaining and get in the way a lot of the times.  I also remember the original plan had like walk ways going over University over to the hospital so ppl dint have to cross traffic. 

 

-R

Those little groups aren't the problem.  The City Board is.  Those little groups have every right to speak up.  The Board should hear their concerns, and if those concerns aren't in the best interest of the City as a whole, proceed contrary to them.  That will never happen with the current City government. 

Little Rock is paralyzed by a mindset to fear the unknown, be apprehensive about change, be sentimental for what was.  That is abetted by the Board which for decades has been unwilling to think past its next election.  

Midtown is turning into a drive through-addled wasteland.  Parking lots may be full, but the soul is vacant.  There is no cohesion. There is no vision.  There is no purpose.  The City's government is supposed to give vision and purpose.  It seems to be content with strip malls, fast food joints, and plenty of easy parking.  Good luck attracting anyone under 40 to live in a place like that.  

Things don't bode well for our city which, for the first time in its history, is losing population.  

Progress never happens without opposition.  Progress happens when a city isn't ossified by opposition.   Sadly, that's Little Rock in 2020. 

But, there is hope. That Mayor, despite his faults, seems to understand that a corner needs to be turned.  If only we could get a City Board that understood that as well... 

 

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Those little groups aren't the problem.  The City Board is.  Those little groups have every right to speak up.  The Board should hear their concerns, and if those concerns aren't in the best interest of the City as a whole, proceed contrary to them.  That will never happen with the current City government. 
Little Rock is paralyzed by a mindset to fear the unknown, be apprehensive about change, be sentimental for what was.  That is abetted by the Board which for decades has been unwilling to think past its next election.  
Midtown is turning into a drive through-addled wasteland.  Parking lots may be full, but the soul is vacant.  There is no cohesion. There is no vision.  There is no purpose.  The City's government is supposed to give vision and purpose.  It seems to be content with strip malls, fast food joints, and plenty of easy parking.  Good luck attracting anyone under 40 to live in a place like that.  
Things don't bode well for our city which, for the first time in its history, is losing population.  
Progress never happens without opposition.  Progress happens when a city isn't ossified by opposition.   Sadly, that's Little Rock in 2020. 
But, there is hope. That Mayor, despite his faults, seems to understand that a corner needs to be turned.  If only we could get a City Board that understood that as well... 
 

Amen and amen. I totally agree...though I’m not so sure about the population comment - birth rates are slowing so that might impact net gains. Last I saw LR was estimated right at 200,000, up from 193,000 in 2010.


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18 hours ago, Architect said:


Amen and amen. I totally agree...though I’m not so sure about the population comment - birth rates are slowing so that might impact net gains. Last I saw LR was estimated right at 200,000, up from 193,000 in 2010.


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I certainly hope 200,000 is true.  But according to Census Bureau estimates, Little Rock lost population in the last two years.  Only estimates, but even at 200,000, growth is anemic. 

553213677_ScreenShot2020-02-14at1_09_18PM.thumb.png.fe71d8b819317e7d8c42dd35029a595c.png

Source: https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/popest/2010s-total-cities-and-towns.html

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On 2/13/2020 at 4:20 PM, Architect said:

Interesting, and not that it ultimately matters, but what was the original delay, and then why would they put them all in the SAME building since they have other options?  By the way, I don't doubt your info, but man, if parking is any indication, those places are always busy.  Admittedly, I more often go to Newks, but it's always PACKED when I'm there.

The original delay was essentially having to change the plan for the development after having to acquiesce to every tom dick and harry that had an opinion about how to develop.  The plan must have seen at least six iterations and by the time everybody picked at the plan, there was none of it left.  You're right, there IS a huge parking issue.  The first iterations of the development plan had multi-level parking areas without as much multi-family.  The increase in apartments came as a way to try to salvage the cost of site acquisition and infrastructure.  The City of Little Rock has this wonderful custom of putting the cost of infrastructure on the backs of the developers rather than allowing them to invest in the city by actually developing a meaningful and successful vision.  As you say, this town shoots itself in the foot all the time.  Newks is busy sometimes.  But not at the expense of the other two in the same building.  Instead of having a successful tenant in one field and another in a different restaurant segment, now you have 3 that take turns struggling.  It's not a recipe for success for anyone of them.  

On 2/13/2020 at 5:10 PM, Dingoal said:

Those little groups aren't the problem.  The City Board is.  Those little groups have every right to speak up.  The Board should hear their concerns, and if those concerns aren't in the best interest of the City as a whole, proceed contrary to them.  That will never happen with the current City government. 

Little Rock is paralyzed by a mindset to fear the unknown, be apprehensive about change, be sentimental for what was.  That is abetted by the Board which for decades has been unwilling to think past its next election.  

Progress never happens without opposition.  Progress happens when a city isn't ossified by opposition.   Sadly, that's Little Rock in 2020. 

But, there is hope. That Mayor, despite his faults, seems to understand that a corner needs to be turned.  If only we could get a City Board that understood that as well... 

I couldn't agree more with these statements.  The new mayor would like to bring Top Golf to Little Rock.  Good freakin' luck!!  I'd love to see it too but it'll never happen.  Just like FedEx went to Memphis.  Just like Dave & Busters went away for 20 years before coming back...only to do mediocre business after being open for roughly a year.  The drop in Little Rock population should only understood better by seeing how many now former LR residents are enrolling their kids in Bryant schools and moving to Saline County.  They work in Little Rock, but live in Benton/Bryant or move to Faulkner County to live in Conway.  Because the Little Rock School District does not work no matter how much money you throw at it despite having one of the highest pay rates for educators in the country.

I for one wish the new mayor much success but raising taxes isn't the way.  Giving companies that deserve our favor some tax breaks to bring their high paying tech based jobs here is.  Stop ostracizing those in our communities that are trying to create progress is another way.  I wish all these things for our city.  

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I couldn't agree more with these statements.  The new mayor would like to bring Top Golf to Little Rock.  Good freakin' luck!!  I'd love to see it too but it'll never happen.

I couldn’t care less about golf or Top Golf, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t be successful here given the location in similar markets, not to mention the smaller NWA market (and which, by the way, is in a ridiculously stupid location from an urban planning standpoint).

 

p.s. the discussion about a population drop is a bit premature...it’s merely an estimate (per Metroplan), and even if true, only happened in the past year, and even that isn’t due to a change in net migration (to which you allude), but would be attributed to declining birth rates, which is a nationwide issue.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Architect said:

I couldn’t care less about golf or Top Golf, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t be successful here given the location in similar markets, not to mention the smaller NWA market (and which, by the way, is in a ridiculously stupid location from an urban planning standpoint).

Even though none of the NWA cities are as big as Little Rock, they are on an aggregate basis.  But many brands decide to make their investments away from Little Rock because of the behavior of the consumer in our market.  Just as you state above, you couldn't care less about Top Golf and I'm sure that's a shared sentiment among many of the people that live in town.  Red Robin decided to locate in Saline County rather than Little Rock.  We push national brands away all the time.  Quite frankly that's the reason why we don't have things that other cities have because we don't support them.  Buy local shop local.  I'm sure many people in Little Rock are just fine with that.  But to answer your question that's why Top Golf wouldn't be successful in Little Rock or North Little Rock.  

Top Golf locations are often like Cracker Barrel.  Access is often screwed up but they demand visibility from the highway so that's why the NWA Top Golf is located where it is.  

RE: the population drop point you speak about.  I can understand the argument that the population drop might be due to reduction in birth rates.  But all the areas that are growing also experience similar and in some cases larger decreases in birth rate.  Yet they still grow at significant rates.  Faulkner, Saline, Benton, Washington Counties all experienced similar drops in birth rate but all grew at significant paces as compared to Little Rock and North Little Rock that dropped in population in 2016 onward.  I think Orian locating to NLR and new apartment construction probably helped it stabilize.  In looking at real estate both in commercial and residential, it can be seen that migration away from Little Rock has been occurring at least the last five years.  That's simply information that can't be seen in a census report or a news article.  Take that for what it's worth.  

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