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mcheiss

What's Missing in Central Arkansas?

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I started this in the NWA Subforum and it went off on a hit.

So, I want to know from all of you Central Arkansan Posters, What would you like to see in Central Arkansas?

This can include anything from Road Construction, Retail, Restaurants, Entertainment, Municipal Projects, etc.

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I'd like to see I-40 from Conway to NLR made 6 lanes (who doesn't). I'm told by my spys at the AHTD that it could happen in the next 10 years. Of course Metroplan would like to see all freeways in Central Arkansas as 6 lanes at least, and that wouldn't be such a bad idea for the long term.

I guess I'll just keep day dreaming about it next time I'm stuck in traffic.

Other cool things I'd like to see would be a new airport in Conway, and a real mall, a real movie theater (Rave quality, heck, Breckenridge quality would work), something over 5 stories that's not an abondoned grain elevator or church, some parks, a public golf course, a Best Buy, a Bus system, a new high school, and the Western Loop. This is sounding like a Christmas list.

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I started this in the NWA Subforum and it went off on a hit.

So, I want to know from all of you Central Arkansan Posters, What would you like to see in Central Arkansas?

This can include anything from Road Construction, Retail, Restaurants, Entertainment, Municipal Projects, etc.

An Expressway through WLR, so that you could get to I-430 quicker...it takes a while to get from far West Little Rock just to I-430. We could also use a major park in West Little Rock. We also need some type of Landmark that will be unique to Little Rock. SF has the golden gate bridge, Stl has the arch...we need something like that.

I'd like to see I-40 from Conway to NLR made 6 lanes (who doesn't). I'm told by my spys at the AHTD that it could happen in the next 10 years. Of course Metroplan would like to see all freeways in Central Arkansas as 6 lanes at least, and that wouldn't be such a bad idea for the long term.

I guess I'll just keep day dreaming about it next time I'm stuck in traffic.

Other cool things I'd like to see would be a new airport in Conway, and a real mall, a real movie theater (Rave quality, heck, Breckenridge quality would work), something over 5 stories that's not an abondoned grain elevator or church, some parks, a public golf course, a Best Buy, a Bus system, a new high school, and the Western Loop. This is sounding like a Christmas list.

The western loop will happen, eventually. Conway officals say that even if it doesn't happen for a while, development will happen along its planned route...which is out by the new supercenter. They named Best Buy as a real possibility in the near future...out close to the new supercenter.

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An Expressway through WLR, so that you could get to I-430 quicker...it takes a while to get from far West Little Rock just to I-430. We could also use a major park in West Little Rock. We also need some type of Landmark that will be unique to Little Rock. SF has the golden gate bridge, Stl has the arch...we need something like that.

The western loop will happen, eventually. Conway officals say that even if it doesn't happen for a while, development will happen along its planned route...which is out by the new supercenter. They named Best Buy as a real possibility in the near future...out close to the new supercenter.

Little Rock does have a landmark... the worlds largest trailer! :rofl:

Seriously though, LR could use some cool symbol.

So where did you hear about this Best Buy near the new Wal-Mart?

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Little Rock does have a landmark... the worlds largest trailer! :rofl:

Seriously though, LR could use some cool symbol.

So where did you hear about this Best Buy near the new Wal-Mart?

It was on Channel 11's website a month or maybe a few months ago.

They have a lot of stories about development...I always go to their website

hoping to find out something new. http://www.kthv.com

You never know when something of interest will be there.

It was on Channel 11's website a month or maybe a few months ago.

They have a lot of stories about development...I always go to their website

hoping to find out something new. http://www.kthv.com

You never know when something of interest will be there.

You can also search their archives. Search for Conway, and you're sure to find it.

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There's not much that I think LR is really lacking. As far as Conway and Saline County, I'm sure they want more restaurant diversity (due to being dry counties) and a mall/more retail which they're both getting to some extent, just not a large true "mall".

As far as Little Rock goes, though, I would like to see more downtown retail - a variety of boutique style shops and galleries and even more restaurants. There is some there and much more along Kavanaugh but I would like to see the area bustling with activity. I'd like to see the River Rail successfully used throughout downtown and maybe some adjacent areas. I'd like to see the MacArthur Park area and Quapaw Quarter become upscale urban villages. Most importantly, I guess LR needs more arteries and these need to be wider - there are too many heavily-traveled two lane roads and Cantrell and Markham are busier than virtually any 6-lane roads in Dallas. I'd also like to see I-630 improved and widened to 6 lanes with a smoother interchange with I-430.

Sure, I'd like major sports teams but that would never happen. I wish we had more large corporations based here, I wish they'd never screwed up with Fed Ex but that's all historic. More national direct flights would be nice. All in all, though, it's a nice place to live.

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From my perspective Central Arkansas, more specifically Little Rock, is missing certain elements that would seriously add to the quality of life here. First I would love to see more urban stores such as Smith and Hawken, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropolgie open here, but i fear we do not have the demographics. I know that one particular lifestyle center under development is having a hard time finding the right mix of tenants to commit to their center, as there are several projects under various stages of development and many retailers want to see how it will all shake out.

I think its critical someone take the initiative, and of course associated risk, to plan a major downtown retail development. I have always though that a retail project could be part of the long term plan by Belz, the owner of The Peabody, that would emulate Peabody Place in Memphis. I know it was tried in the 80's, but the infrastructure wasn't there, and the timing was way off, however in my opinion the time is close if not here.

In addition I think that we need a comprehensive overhall of the liquor laws in this state so we could have a more competitive retail market of wine, beer and liquor- it could be sold in grocery stores, like in almost every other state. Maybe then a place like Trader Joe's- I can always dream- would consider a location here.

One thing sorely missing here, which is dictated by demographics, is a diverse choice of ethnic food. Sure we have a smattering of things - however there are so few choice compared to other markets. We are also missing a vegetarian restaurant scene here, something I would almost guarantee would be successful.

I agree that Little Rock needs to continue to utilize urban renewal and infill projects, uplifting areas that are seeing slow rebounds such as the Quapaw Quarter, and the area around the Arts Center. I think that downtown Little Rock needs to eliminate, or renovate some of the parking structures to provide ground floor retail space, or much need green space. A comprehensive and uniform design theme needs to be established throughout downtown and adjacent neighborhoods to help create a sense of continuity,yet it should also preserve the uniqueness of each neighborhood (think banners, light poles, street furnishings, planting themes etc).

I think Little Rock needs to undertake a major long term plan to integrate the Arkansas

River into the urban fabric of the city. Clearly great strides have been made, however it seems there is lacking a comprehensive master plan that would look at ways to utilize both public and private funds to accomplish this - think about San Antonio's Riverwalk. I think with the Clinton Library acting as the catalyst, and many of the proposed projects focusing on the river the time is ripe to act on this.

Last but not least Central Arkansas, and Arkansas in general, needs to hire a PR firm to help redefine how we are perceived, both as a travel destination as well as a place to live.I think that the combination of our redeveloping Urban Core juxtaposed with our great natural resources makes Little Rock a winner, that we need to promote. I could go on but its getting late.

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From my perspective Central Arkansas, more specifically Little Rock, is missing certain elements that would seriously add to the quality of life here. First I would love to see more urban stores such as Smith and Hawken, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropolgie open here, but i fear we do not have the demographics. I know that one particular lifestyle center under development is having a hard time finding the right mix of tenants to commit to their center, as there are several projects under various stages of development and many retailers want to see how it will all shake out.

I think its critical someone take the initiative, and of course associated risk, to plan a major downtown retail development. I have always though that a retail project could be part of the long term plan by Belz, the owner of The Peabody, that would emulate Peabody Place in Memphis. I know it was tried in the 80's, but the infrastructure wasn't there, and the timing was way off, however in my opinion the time is close if not here.

In addition I think that we need a comprehensive overhall of the liquor laws in this state so we could have a more competitive retail market of wine, beer and liquor- it could be sold in grocery stores, like in almost every other state. Maybe then a place like Trader Joe's- I can always dream- would consider a location here.

One thing sorely missing here, which is dictated by demographics, is a diverse choice of ethnic food. Sure we have a smattering of things - however there are so few choice compared to other markets. We are also missing a vegetarian restaurant scene here, something I would almost guarantee would be successful.

I agree that Little Rock needs to continue to utilize urban renewal and infill projects, uplifting areas that are seeing slow rebounds such as the Quapaw Quarter, and the area around the Arts Center. I think that downtown Little Rock needs to eliminate, or renovate some of the parking structures to provide ground floor retail space, or much need green space. A comprehensive and uniform design theme needs to be established throughout downtown and adjacent neighborhoods to help create a sense of continuity,yet it should also preserve the uniqueness of each neighborhood (think banners, light poles, street furnishings, planting themes etc).

I think Little Rock needs to undertake a major long term plan to integrate the Arkansas

River into the urban fabric of the city. Clearly great strides have been made, however it seems there is lacking a comprehensive master plan that would look at ways to utilize both public and private funds to accomplish this - think about San Antonio's Riverwalk. I think with the Clinton Library acting as the catalyst, and many of the proposed projects focusing on the river the time is ripe to act on this.

Last but not least Central Arkansas, and Arkansas in general, needs to hire a PR firm to help redefine how we are perceived, both as a travel destination as well as a place to live.I think that the combination of our redeveloping Urban Core juxtaposed with our great natural resources makes Little Rock a winner, that we need to promote. I could go on but its getting late.

Best post ever. I agree with all of it. Glad you found this place and I hope you'll offer your opinions on a regular basis.

I had thought the Peabody was going to do more as well, I thought that was what the whole issue of closing off that street between it and the Statehouse was for. They haven't brought the shops and restaurants I kept hearing about early on. I kept hearing Ruth's Chris initially but that's out now that they opted for the "Italian Steakhouse" route with Capriccio's.

I think the cities are having a hard time figuring out how to use the River. In many ways it's much harder to utilize a river that large. The levees have to remain in place, it does flood. When I was a kid I remember it flooding Cajun's Wharf. OKC and Ft Lauderdale tried to emulate San Antonio, the former by creating a de novo "river" by just digging a ditch and building around it. How do you do that with a river a hundred fold larger? Involving the bridges in the developments themselves in addition to using them as a means to cross is one way, I guess. Certainly the hope is that marinas will spring up, including the one planned at the condo complex near the Heifer Project we've been hearing about for at least 5 years. Boat traffic all over the Riverdale and downtown areas would be terrific but it's not an easy river for small craft. I remember seeing some of the smaller craft really struggle against the current a few times during Jul 4 or Riverfest fireworks after we'd had heavy rains.

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I agree that Little Rock needs to continue to utilize urban renewal and infill projects, uplifting areas that are seeing slow rebounds such as the Quapaw Quarter, and the area around the Arts Center. I think that downtown Little Rock needs to eliminate, or renovate some of the parking structures to provide ground floor retail space, or much need green space. A comprehensive and uniform design theme needs to be established throughout downtown and adjacent neighborhoods to help create a sense of continuity,yet it should also preserve the uniqueness of each neighborhood (think banners, light poles, street furnishings, planting themes etc).

Little Rock should do something like Fayetteville has done, come up with a downtown master plan. Everything in it isn't set in stone but it does give a pretty good idea for people on what should be done in the future. I also believe there's some mention of parking decks being less visible and perhaps having retail in the front along the street level and having the parking decks behind them. Guess I didn't realize Little Rock didn't already have some sort of master plan already. I really like Fayetteville's even if it's caused a bit of a stir occasionally with some people up here on the general look or theme. But I really think Little Rock should have one done so that they can better map out and plan future growth and improvements.

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Little Rock should do something like Fayetteville has done, come up with a downtown master plan. Everything in it isn't set in stone but it does give a pretty good idea for people on what should be done in the future. I also believe there's some mention of parking decks being less visible and perhaps having retail in the front along the street level and having the parking decks behind them. Guess I didn't realize Little Rock didn't already have some sort of master plan already. I really like Fayetteville's even if it's caused a bit of a stir occasionally with some people up here on the general look or theme. But I really think Little Rock should have one done so that they can better map out and plan future growth and improvements.

In places like LR or bigger cities like Nashville or Dallas, I don't see how you can "map out" growth downtown. Until developers propose a project it's hard to decide what should be done. They can agree to cooperate and make improvements in areas people like Stephens want to develop and they can even dictate the preferred direction of development but they really have little say in what goes where.

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In places like LR or bigger cities like Nashville or Dallas, I don't see how you can "map out" growth downtown. Until developers propose a project it's hard to decide what should be done. They can agree to cooperate and make improvements in areas people like Stephens want to develop and they can even dictate the preferred direction of development but they really have little say in what goes where.

It would seem you could try to do something to plan ahead. You could at least just try to get some ideas on maybe what could be worked on in the future. Granted I know Little Rock is a bigger city than Fayetteville and it would be harder but I don't think it's not impossible to do something.

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It would seem you could try to do something to plan ahead. You could at least just try to get some ideas on maybe what could be worked on in the future. Granted I know Little Rock is a bigger city than Fayetteville and it would be harder but I don't think it's not impossible to do something.

Those plans do exist, they're largely based on creating high-priority corridors. They published the official plans a few years ago but it's almost entirely a different place now than it was then. There were 3 main East-West corridors and 3 main North-South corridors. The area around 7th and Chester (Vino's, Little Rock Theatre) was slated for an arts district and Main was the high priority N-S corridor. There also was an original plan back in 1995 that all of the downtown renaissance sprung from. It's just hard to get too specific with it.

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Those plans do exist, they're largely based on creating high-priority corridors. They published the official plans a few years ago but it's almost entirely a different place now than it was then. There were 3 main East-West corridors and 3 main North-South corridors. The area around 7th and Chester (Vino's, Little Rock Theatre) was slated for an arts district and Main was the high priority N-S corridor. There also was an original plan back in 1995 that all of the downtown renaissance sprung from. It's just hard to get too specific with it.

Ah, I see.

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LR needs to redo their plans for the future. Austin is in the process now and they want to bring 25,000 more people to live in their downtown area.

Little Rock needs one or two banks to grow to a decent size and not sell out.(ex. Worthen, Commerical).

It would be nice to see the Altell land line spin-off locate in downtown LR. My guess is they will probably locate to the Systematics Campus.

A major university. UALR should be have at least 25,000 students. Missouri State in Springfield, MO has almost 20,000 students. It is one of the drivers of the Springfield economy.

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LR needs to redo their plans for the future. Austin is in the process now and they want to bring 25,000 more people to live in their downtown area.

Little Rock needs one or two banks to grow to a decent size and not sell out.(ex. Worthen, Commerical).

It would be nice to see the Altell land line spin-off locate in downtown LR. My guess is they will probably locate to the Systematics Campus.

A major university. UALR should be have at least 25,000 students. Missouri State in Springfield, MO has almost 20,000 students. It is one of the drivers of the Springfield economy.

It would seem feasable to me to have UALR to hit 20,000-25,000. What's it at now? I know before the U of A finally started trying to increase enrollment that UALR was pretty close in numbers. I also think Little Rock needs to have more people live downtown. Put more condo buildings in, bring in more entertainment. Have some areas where people can walk to work, walk to eat out and such.

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It would seem feasable to me to have UALR to hit 20,000-25,000. What's it at now? I know before the U of A finally started trying to increase enrollment that UALR was pretty close in numbers. I also think Little Rock needs to have more people live downtown. Put more condo buildings in, bring in more entertainment. Have some areas where people can walk to work, walk to eat out and such.

The enrollment at UALR is around 11,000. It has been at that number for some time. In order to grow it needs to drop out of the U of A system. U of A is too centered on NWA and does little for the rest of the state. Look at what Texas A&M plans to do in Texarkana. The state should fund UA, UALR, ASU and UCA at the same levels and let the best ones develop. UA has enough money in the bank to make up the difference.

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The enrollment at UALR is around 11,000. It has been at that number for some time. In order to grow it needs to drop out of the U of A system. U of A is too centered on NWA and does little for the rest of the state. Look at what Texas A&M plans to do in Texarkana. The state should fund UA, UALR, ASU and UCA at the same levels and let the best ones develop. UA has enough money in the bank to make up the difference.

UCA is independent of the UA system and is doing a better job of growing and increasing academic standards than all of the UA campuses save the flagship, maybe even exceeding it in academic and numeric growth. Lu Hardin has that school on the right track.

I disagree in that I do believe Arkansas needs a flagship university and we should spend more money on that campus. If UA were just like the other 3, I assure you that most of my friends that stayed in-state and attended UA would've left the state. What UA did in Ft Smith parallels what aTm is doing in Texarkana.

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UCA is independent of the UA system and is doing a better job of growing and increasing academic standards than all of the UA campuses save the flagship, maybe even exceeding it in academic and numeric growth. Lu Hardin has that school on the right track.

I disagree in that I do believe Arkansas needs a flagship university and we should spend more money on that campus. If UA were just like the other 3, I assure you that most of my friends that stayed in-state and attended UA would've left the state. What UA did in Ft Smith parallels what aTm is doing in Texarkana.

Let's be honest, your friends probably didn't attend UA for the academics, more than likely they attended it for the partying. UA is a decent school, but who seriously goes there for the studies?

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UCA is independent of the UA system and is doing a better job of growing and increasing academic standards than all of the UA campuses save the flagship, maybe even exceeding it in academic and numeric growth. Lu Hardin has that school on the right track.

I disagree in that I do believe Arkansas needs a flagship university and we should spend more money on that campus. If UA were just like the other 3, I assure you that most of my friends that stayed in-state and attended UA would've left the state. What UA did in Ft Smith parallels what aTm is doing in Texarkana.

I don't think UA has any plans close to the 15,000 student campus TA&M has for Texarkana.

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Let's be honest, your friends probably didn't attend UA for the academics, more than likely they attended it for the partying. UA is a decent school, but who seriously goes there for the studies?

Considering I had friends that couldn't afford to go to Hendrix, Vanderbilt, Washington & Lee, etc where some of my friends went, yes they went for the academics. Some also liked to party but a few were serious students. Most of them are now called "doctor". If I had it to do over again I would've gone to UA.

I don't think UA has any plans close to the 15,000 student campus TA&M has for Texarkana.

I guess the UA system is more realistic, though it would be kind of stupid considering the flagship campus is 45 min away. I doubt Texarkana's version of the Aggie farm system can pull off those numbers, right now they have 1/4 the number of students UAFS has.

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Considering I had friends that couldn't afford to go to Hendrix, Vanderbilt, Washington & Lee, etc where some of my friends went, yes they went for the academics. Some also liked to party but a few were serious students. Most of them are now called "doctor". If I had it to do over again I would've gone to UA.

I never said your friends weren't intelligent, I assumed as much since you have said you attended Catholic and you yourself being a physician. Typically intelligent people associate themselves with other intelligent people.

That being said, I hate to speak for your friends, but it appears to me they went to UA because they could afford it, not because of the academics. If I am stepping on toes just let me know and I'll be done posting on the subject.

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Thanks, mom.

You and Mith ever get off the subject? Didn't think so.

Just trying to keep things from getting too heated. :D

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I never said your friends weren't intelligent, I assumed as much since you have said you attended Catholic and you yourself being a physician. Typically intelligent people associate themselves with other intelligent people.

That being said, I hate to speak for your friends, but it appears to me they went to UA because they could afford it, not because of the academics. If I am stepping on toes just let me know and I'll be done posting on the subject.

No sweat. If you want a five-star academic education at a state school there only a handful of places you can look - UNC, UVa, Berkeley, Michigan, Georgia Tech, Texas, and a few others. Admittedly Arkansas is not in that league. However, it's a good and rapidly improving state flagship campus, probably better than LSU, Tennessee, OU, Ole Miss and MSU, etc.

If you want a good education and you live in-state and you can't afford Hendrix, UA is far and away the best place to get it. I don't think I had a massive advantage over my friends because I went to Hendrix but the difference is UA (like Vanderbilt and even Harvard for that matter) tends to have large classes and grad assts teaching the classes. Learning is less professorial and more self-directed and I didn't have enough confidence in myself to try my luck at UA. Every SEC or similar-caliber school is a "party school" Really, places like Dartmouth (bong relays) and Berkeley can put it to shame at that, really.

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