tim2462

Growth in Benton/Bryant

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At least you have some evergreen trees down there. Almost everything up here is deciduous. But I know what you mean. I wouldn't mind some snow although I wouldn't want it today while I'm traveling.

There are a few evergreen trees in Central AR, but there are far more in the southern part of the state.

I hope you have a safe trip and be aware in Crime Bluff, things aren't so good down there right now.

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There are a few evergreen trees in Central AR, but there are far more in the southern part of the state.

I hope you have a safe trip and be aware in Crime Bluff, things aren't so good down there right now.

Thanks, it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I managed to go out and take pics without getting mugged or anything. :D

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Thanks, it's not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I managed to go out and take pics without getting mugged or anything. :D

I know what you're saying. I've never really felt unsafe in Pine Bluff. But I am always afraid my car is going to be stolen...that is as bad as people think. Growing up, my mom always said as we were getting out of the car to go in somwhere in PB, "Lock your doors, we are in Pine Bluff."

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For those of you who might have missed it earlier before mith and I get off topic...Applebee's is almost finished in Benton. I have not heard anything about that...I just happened to look over and see it. I'm curious to know whether they will serve alcohol or not...being in a dry county. Castle Golf of Mesa, AZ is building a miniature golf course in Benton right next to Tinsletown. I went to their website, but there wasn't anything on there. I just happened to see it as well. I did find an article from the Benton newspaper with a picture. The article has an opening date in November, but it's not open yet. Here's the link:

http://www.bentoncourier.com/articles/2005...ews/84vnews.txt

On the way back to Little Rock, I noticed the were building two 4 story office buildings on Hwy. 5 in Bryant.

I can't find any info about them.

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Alcoa Exchange, the new shopping center at the Alcoa Road exit, is going to be in both Benton and Bryant.

Chili's will be in the Benton city limits along with several other stores. Target will be in Bryant, but it's not known which city all of the stores will be in at this time. City leaders from both cities say that it won't matter because shoppers won't know where one city ends and the other begins and that it will benefit the entire county. Here is the list of stores released so far: Chili's, PetSmart, Target, Kohl's, Pier 1, Old Navy, Dress Barn, Rack Room Shoes, Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A, and Staples. More will be released as they finalize agreements. The area across the interstate from Alcoa Exchange that was to be the home of this new development is all in the Benton city limits and Benton City officials are already looking for a big project over there. They say that both sides of the interstate in both cities will eventually be developed and that Saline County residents wouldn't need to go to Little Rock for their needs.

Edited by tim2462

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Texarkana has one?

It's got to be on the Texas side than.

You're right.

Texarkana has one, Benton probably makes more sense than that.

Are you saying that because Benton is located in a larger metro than Texarkana?

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You're right.

Are you saying that because Benton is located in a larger metro than Texarkana?

Yeah, that's the reason. A growing suburban county with 85k residents seems like a good place for a Starbuck's. That said, that location near the mall and all of that new growth over on the Texas side was probably too good for them to pass up.

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Yeah, that's the reason. A growing suburban county with 85k residents seems like a good place for a Starbuck's. That said, that location near the mall and all of that new growth over on the Texas side was probably too good for them to pass up.

The new census estimate for 2004 is 90,000...Metroplan estimates it to be in the 95,000 range.

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Figures it would be on the Texas side. For quite a while Starbucks really seemed to be avoiding Arkansas for some reason. I guess we weren't 'worthy' enough for one for so long. I guess that's also one of the reasons I'm not too excited whenever they get one open up here. I'll just keep going to the local coffeeshops. Not only because I like to support the local guys but because it took Starbacks so long to decide that Arkansas was worth looking into afterall.

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A short video about the new Alcoa Exchange project in Bryant.

This will give you an idea of what the area looks like if you're not familiar with it.

I'm going to take some pictures of Bryant and Benton, soon, so that everybody can see all of the new

development down there. What you will see in the video is the area between the alcoa exit in Benton and the Bryant exit.

http://www.kthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=21677

Edited by tim2462

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A short video about the new Alcoa Exchange project in Bryant.

This will give you an idea of what the area looks like if you're not familiar with it.

I'm going to take some pictures of Bryant and Benton, soon, so that everybody can see all of the new

development down there. What you will see in the video is the area between the alcoa exit in Benton and the Bryant exit.

http://www.kthv.com/news/news.aspx?storyid=21677

I think anybody could've predicted this, that article acted like it was surprising. Bryant is more affluent than SW Little Rock and Benton and is growing faster and has a prime location, this is where the project should logically go. If anything I would've thought it would've come sooner as Faulkner and Craighead Cos already are getting these stores (or have them) despite having similar populations.

Interesting, I didn't know that Simon owned University Mall but not the property it sits on. I'm not surprised the owners are suing, I probably would as well. That property's worth a lot more without the mall on it and Simon has been stalling on this for a decade.

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Yeah, that is a prime location for it. More will follow. Saline County is playing catch up, so a lot of things will come quickly. They just announced this project and it is scheduled to open in October. Projects usually don't move that quickly.

I believe tha Simon neglected University Mall while chasing after the Summit Mall dream for so long. Now they have their eyes on another development in WLR and the neglect of University will probably continue.

I'd sue the hell out of them too. They need to S*it or get off of the pot.

Edited by tim2462

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Yeah, that is a prime location for it. More will follow. Saline County is playing catch up, so a lot of things will come quickly. They just announced this project and it is scheduled to open in October. Projects usually don't move that quickly.

I believe tha Simon neglected University Mall while chasing after the Summit Mall dream for so long. Now they have their eyes on another development in WLR and the neglect of University will probably continue.

I'd sue the hell out of them too. They need to S*it or get off of the pot.

Well put. Simon getting out of there and building another project in West LR would be win-win. That site could really be redeveloped in a first-class manner. There's been talk of a mixed use development with lofts and/or condos mixed with medical office space (St Vincent's needs space for affiliated doctors), a Super Target and perhaps another hotel or a couple of other big box retailers. I could see the city allowing a TIF to make improvements to the University corridor to help this happen.

I remember a couple of years ago the owners fought for reappraisal of the property to make it worth essentially the same as it would be without the mall, i.e. the mall adds no value whatsoever to the property.

Stagnating as it is now, though, isn't doing anything but hurting the surrounding areas. I was kind of worried about Park Plaza but that project going in across the street is kind of reassuring. If PP was in any danger of closing I don't think this project would be underway. I don't think that Promenade will really steal that much business and being well off the interstate will make it less accessible for out of town visitors which in LR form the bulk of the shoppers. Summit Mall would've been a different story as it would be a megamall with interstate access, so maybe the city killing the Summit Proposal saved Park Plaza after all.

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Yes, it probably saved Park Plaza...but it sure would've been nice to have had a mega mall. But, you're right...the possibilities are endless on what that land could become. I believe that the city would designate it a TIF, because they have been touting plans for improve the University Corridor from UALR, all the way up to Cantrell.

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Benton, Bryant, & Saline County Population

Benton ------2000 Census - 21,906........2005 MetroPlan Estimate - 28,000

Bryant-------2000 Census - 9,764........2005 MetroPlan Estmate - 15,000

Saline Co.---2000 Census - 83,529........2005 MetroPlan Estimate - 96,000

Edited by tim2462

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New Hospitality Tax in Benton

A new 1.5% tax has gone in effect as of January 1st.

The city's newly formed advertising and promotion commission

estimates that the new tax will bring in 300K-500k per year. City

leaders are optimistic that it may exceed those expectations, due to

the growth the city is experiencing. This tax will be applied to all hotels, restaurants, caterers, and moving theaters.

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New Hospitality Tax in Benton

A new 1.5% tax has gone in effect as of January 1st.

The city's newly formed advertising and promotion commission

estimates that the new tax will bring in 300K-500k per year. City

leaders are optimistic that it may exceed those expectations, due to

the growth the city is experiencing. This tax will be applied to all hotels, restaurants, caterers, and moving theaters.

I'm kind of surprised that they can pull in that much tax revenue (though I guess it's still not really much) from the paltry hotel offerings Benton has.

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A few more tenants released for the Alcoa Exchange in Benton & Bryant.

The updated list:

- Target

- Kohl's

- Old Navy

- Shoe Carnival

- Starbucks

- Chili's

- Kirkland's

- Rue 21

- Cingular

- The Mattress King

Other tenants will be announced when they are finalized.

Alcoa Exchange is scheduled to open in October.

October is going to be a big month for retail in all of Central Arkansas.

Applebee's opened up in Benton a few months back.

Also, an IHOP is under construction in Benton.

Lowe's is nearing completion in Bryant.

With the new 6 lane interstate, the area is really taking off.

There has been a lot of residential growth in the last few years, now

the retail / restaurant sector is catching up.

Edited by tim2462

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A few more tenants released for the Alcoa Exchange in Benton & Bryant.

The updated list:

- Target

- Kohl's

- Old Navy

- Shoe Carnival

- Starbucks

- Chili's

- Kirkland's

- Rue 21

- Cingular

- The Mattress King

Other tenants will be announced when they are finalized.

Alcoa Exchange is scheduled to open in October.

October is going to be a big month for retail in all of Central Arkansas.

Applebee's opened up in Benton a few months back.

Also, an IHOP is under construction in Benton.

Lowe's is nearing completion in Bryant.

With the new 6 lane interstate, the area is really taking off.

There has been a lot of residential growth in the last few years, now

the retail / restaurant sector is catching up.

Liquor by the drink would get Saline Co a nice array of middle-tier chain restaurants. Chili's and Applebee's would've been there a decade ago or more if it weren't dry.

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I'm not sure if this got brought up somewhere. I believe the new numbers from Benton's special census are 27,610.

My dad said Benton will be getting a Sam's Club? behind the Pilot truck stop at the Alcoa exit. BTW that Pilot was originally planned to be constructed at the Reynolds exit on the property where Lowe's currently sits.

The Benton Parkway also opened sometime ago. Its just a series of road and access improvements between the Alcoa exit and the industrial area south and west of Edison Ave. The term Parkway is used very loosely. But it should allow for Benton to keep some of its current industry and perhaps attract a few more. However, current problems with the electric rates will probably have an effect.

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Liquor by the drink would get Saline Co a nice array of middle-tier chain restaurants. Chili's and Applebee's would've been there a decade ago or more if it weren't dry.

There are very, very few places in Saline county that have a liquor license. If you aren't a lodge or the VFW you pretty much have no hope.

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There are very, very few places in Saline county that have a liquor license. If you aren't a lodge or the VFW you pretty much have no hope.

You'd think as Saline Co suburbanizes it would become more open to liquor by the drink the way Benton Co did a decade ago. Faulkner seems to be opening up some. The demographics in bot h counties are changing and both may have enough shift in philosophy to accomplish it. Benton Co was 10 years ahead of Faulkner in every way and I think Faulkner's probably a decade ahead of Saline.

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