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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.  

For what it’s worth, I’m referencing Metroplan’s own assessment of population trends. They’re the ones that state that the net migration for Little Rock hasn’t really changed, but it’s the declining birth rates that have led to what they determined was a small population drop the past two years. And yes, the declining birth rate applies equally (statistically) to all of those cities, but their population didn’t drop because their net migration/growth is and has been higher than Little Rock for a long time.

 

p.s. By referencing NWA as a smaller market, I mean literally. There’s a difference of 200,000 people. You’d have to remove Little Rock itself from the Central Arkansas MSA for it to be the same size as NWA MSA.

 

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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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1 hour ago, LRretail said:

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.  

Top Golf, while not a fan of the chain, chose Northwest Arkansas over Little Rock as their first Arkansas location due to high visibility from a major intersection as well as high volume of request and interests from the community . The Rogers Regional Chamber of Commerce tries very hard to lure future national chains and investors to develop future developments unique to the region (I know some interesting developments for the future in the Northwest Arkansas that cannot be shared at this time) by offering incentives to potential investors such as property tax breaks. The new mayor tries to bring business unique to the market such as Top Golf to the region but there’s no way he can convince real estate investors to open a location in the market giving the lack of interest from the community along with high property tax. I agree with you regarding the lack of  city’s support of chains (La Madeline is a prime example) in favor of local chains and mom and pop business though I don’t see anything wrong with that. Lack of support of national chains will prevent other chains currently not present in the market (Joe’s Crab Shack, Cheesecake Factory, Pappadeaux, etc) from locating here. Also, the former Mimi’s Cafe and Macaroni Grill buildings  has been vacate for awhile now with no interest of any restaurants chain taking over the space as of now. That says it all about the Little Rock restaurant market. 

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7 hours ago, Architect said:

p.s. By referencing NWA as a smaller market, I mean literally. There’s a difference of 200,000 people. You’d have to remove Little Rock itself from the Central Arkansas MSA for it to be the same size as NWA MSA.

I agree with that if you're looking at it from an MSA vs. MSA comparison.  The behavior of the consumer in the market is at the end of the day the main difference between Central Arkansas and NWA.  

6 hours ago, ecity3138 said:

Top Golf, while not a fan of the chain, chose Northwest Arkansas over Little Rock as their first Arkansas location due to high visibility from a major intersection as well as high volume of request and interests from the community . The Rogers Regional Chamber of Commerce tries very hard to lure future national chains and investors to develop future developments unique to the region (I know some interesting developments for the future in the Northwest Arkansas that cannot be shared at this time) by offering incentives to potential investors such as property tax breaks. The new mayor tries to bring business unique to the market such as Top Golf to the region but there’s no way he can convince real estate investors to open a location in the market giving the lack of interest from the community along with high property tax. I agree with you regarding the lack of  city’s support of chains (La Madeline is a prime example) in favor of local chains and mom and pop business though I don’t see anything wrong with that. Lack of support of national chains will prevent other chains currently not present in the market (Joe’s Crab Shack, Cheesecake Factory, Pappadeaux, etc) from locating here. Also, the former Mimi’s Cafe and Macaroni Grill buildings  has been vacate for awhile now with no interest of any restaurants chain taking over the space as of now. That says it all about the Little Rock restaurant market. 

Sounds about right for Little Rock / North Little Rock.  This is basically what I was saying in response to why certain things will never work in Little Rock / North Little Rock is that the things like Top Golf and other brands that are successful in other MSAs the size of ours are not wanted.  So it defeats the purpose of bringing things to town when its simply going to fail.  Should it work?  Perhaps.  Will it be successful?  Eh maybe.  So all of those on these boards that perpetually hope for Joes Crab Shack or Cheesecake Factory or Super Target or the Mayor wanting Top Golf....probably should just give it up.   

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On 2/16/2020 at 9:10 PM, LRretail said:

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.  

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.  

Dave & Buster’s didn’t go away, because it never existed in LR until recently. There was a Buster’s Bar and a Cash McCool’s game parlor in Union Station. The owners of those two places opened up the first Dave & Busters in Dallas. 

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Dave & Buster’s didn’t go away, because it never existed in LR until recently. There was a Buster’s Bar and a Cash McCool’s game parlor in Union Station. The owners of those two places opened up the first Dave & Busters in Dallas. 

That’s what he means by “going away” for 20 years.


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On 2/20/2020 at 9:46 PM, MDC26 said:

Dave & Buster’s didn’t go away, because it never existed in LR until recently. There was a Buster’s Bar and a Cash McCool’s game parlor in Union Station. The owners of those two places opened up the first Dave & Busters in Dallas. 

Dave and Buster originally developed the idea for the business in Little Rock.  I can't confirm the story 100% but what I've been told is that they wanted to open the first Dave & Buster's in Little Rock but couldn't due to regulatory issues.  In fact Jeremy Hutchinson had to assist in getting a bill passed for Dave & Busters to operate in Arkansas.  Similarly, the concept for Federal Express was put together by Little Rock natives who went to the Little Rock Airport looking for support to launch their business specifically dedicated runway space and land for distribution channels. They were told no and went to Memphis where they're often the primary funding source for the airport there.  Not to mention all the jobs FedEx has brought to the Memphis MSA.  Imagine what Little Rock would be with more companies of that size and success like Stephens Inc. and Dillards.  

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2 hours ago, LRretail said:

Dave and Buster originally developed the idea for the business in Little Rock.  I can't confirm the story 100% but what I've been told is that they wanted to open the first Dave & Buster's in Little Rock but couldn't due to regulatory issues.  In fact Jeremy Hutchinson had to assist in getting a bill passed for Dave & Busters to operate in Arkansas.  Similarly, the concept for Federal Express was put together by Little Rock natives who went to the Little Rock Airport looking for support to launch their business specifically dedicated runway space and land for distribution channels. They were told no and went to Memphis where they're often the primary funding source for the airport there.  Not to mention all the jobs FedEx has brought to the Memphis MSA.  Imagine what Little Rock would be with more companies of that size and success like Stephens Inc. and Dillards.  

The FedEx miscue - with the advantage of a 40 years look-back - was probably Little Rock's greatest missed opportunity...I think only a better handling of the LR Central crisis in 1957 would have been more impactful.

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On 2/20/2020 at 9:46 PM, MDC26 said:

Dave & Buster’s didn’t go away, because it never existed in LR until recently. There was a Buster’s Bar and a Cash McCool’s game parlor in Union Station. The owners of those two places opened up the first Dave & Busters in Dallas. 

Cash McCool's was on Cantrell Road, the game parlor was Slick Willy's. Buster's was a fern bar.

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On 2/24/2020 at 7:40 PM, LRU1967 said:

Cash McCool's was on Cantrell Road, the game parlor was Slick Willy's. Buster's was a fern bar.

I was just going by the Dave & Buster’s Wikipedia page, but I do remember now reading an article that it was Slick Willy’s. Guess someone needs to change the Wikipedia page. I had to look up what a fern bar is. 

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A number of news outlets are reporting that Top Golf might soon be located at the corner of I-630 and University on property that was part of War Memorial Golf Course.  Driving on I-630 today I noticed that construction has started on street work  for the District at Midtown, which is across University from the Top Golf location.

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On 7/11/2020 at 7:42 PM, skirby said:

A number of news outlets are reporting that Top Golf might soon be located at the corner of I-630 and University on property that was part of War Memorial Golf Course.  Driving on I-630 today I noticed that construction has started on street work  for the District at Midtown, which is across University from the Top Golf location.

Yes, I've seen the articles too.  Looks like the Mayor is really trying to get a Top Golf.  Many are opposed to opening up War Memorial to private development though.  I think it would better to have Top Golf out at Gateway Town Center.   There's a lot that looks to be the perfect size that is just South to the Tru Hotel.  It's about the same size/slightly bigger than the Top Golf location in Birmingham.  

https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2020/07/13/there-is-a-plan-for-war-memorial-park-it-doesnt-include-topgolf

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On 7/11/2020 at 7:42 PM, skirby said:

A number of news outlets are reporting that Top Golf might soon be located at the corner of I-630 and University on property that was part of War Memorial Golf Course.  Driving on I-630 today I noticed that construction has started on street work  for the District at Midtown, which is across University from the Top Golf location.

Top Golf didn't bite at the Mayor's request.

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Anybody know anything about Cheesecake Factory?  They filed a permit on Oct 23 for 9809 West Markham.  That doesn't seem to make sense as a location.  Would assume it's at Midtown or Promenade.  May be a "fake" as the official name of the restaurant is "The Cheesecake Factory"

 

 

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Anybody know anything about Cheesecake Factory?  They filed a permit on Oct 23 for 9809 West Markham.  That doesn't seem to make sense as a location.  Would assume it's at Midtown or Promenade.  May be a "fake" as the official name of the restaurant is "The Cheesecake Factory"
 
 

For your answer, see the correspondence in the Restaurant Development thread (in summary, no, it’s not the restaurant chain).


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17 hours ago, SigmaGuy said:

Anybody know anything about Cheesecake Factory?  They filed a permit on Oct 23 for 9809 West Markham.  That doesn't seem to make sense as a location.  Would assume it's at Midtown or Promenade.  May be a "fake" as the official name of the restaurant is "The Cheesecake Factory"

 

 

Somebody got carried away when entering the application into the computer apparently.   

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So I was driving by the site the other day, and noticed these two HUGE poles being erected sort of randomly in the middle of the site.  I'm nervous, because they look like BILLBOARD poles, but surely not?!  I can't imagine zoning would allow it, and in fact, I thought there was a moratorium on these types of signs in the city (if anyone is old enough, they may actually remember 20 years ago when the city had a plan to not only outlaw billboards, but to REMOVE existing ones within the city, and there were even funds set aside as "repayment" to current sign vendors...alas, that fell through).  They seem too big to be light poles.

Any ideas what these could be?

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8 hours ago, Architect said:

So I was driving by the site the other day, and noticed these two HUGE poles being erected sort of randomly in the middle of the site.  I'm nervous, because they look like BILLBOARD poles, but surely not?!  I can't imagine zoning would allow it, and in fact, I thought there was a moratorium on these types of signs in the city (if anyone is old enough, they may actually remember 20 years ago when the city had a plan to not only outlaw billboards, but to REMOVE existing ones within the city, and there were even funds set aside as "repayment" to current sign vendors...alas, that fell through).  They seem too big to be light poles.

Any ideas what these could be?

So I drive past here to get to work and noticed the same thing. They’re massive, ugly, and will be even worse if they turn out to be billboards, which is something that hadn’t crossed my mind but now I’m afraid you might be right. My first thought was 5G or some sort of other utility poles? But I honestly have no clue...

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