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tim2462

Everything Conway

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Conway is probably my favorite city in Arkansas. There's a lot happening there, as there is in many AR cities. I guess it's just the feeling I have when I'm there. It's a city with a lot of culture, and as the city continues to boom, the cultural oppurtunities will broaden. There are 2 colleges and a major university in Conway. UCA is the fastest growing university in the state and now has enrollment of over 11,000.

The 1990 census was around 26,000...the 2000 census was 43,167...the 2005 MetroPlan estimate is 53,000.

This means that the city has more than doubled its population in 15 years. Faulkner County is estimated to be around 98,000 by MetroPlan for 2005. The area has a very dynamic and growing economy. While Faulkner County is part of the Little Rock metro...it also has its own separate identity. One reason for this is that only 30% of workers commute outside of Faulkner County to work. Conway has seen a lot of new retail and restaurant growth and now people don't have to drive to Little Rock to shop and eat. The area does still lack a few things, like the movie theater that they've been planning for a long time. Also, being in a dry county hurts the area, as people have to drive to Little Rock to go to clubs and bars...and restaurants if they want to drink. There have been a few restaurants recently that have gotten private club permits...that will hopefully initiate the process of a new wet/dry vote for the county. There are a lot of exciting things going on in Conway...some I have mentioned lately, like the new Technology Park, designed to diversify the economy even more and keep the young, well-educated population there. If you have any news or opinions of Conway, express them here. This is the place for everything Conway.

Edited by tim2462

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I've heard some nice things about Conway. But I admit I don't know a whole lot about the city other than driving through it. I've wondered it being so close to Little Rock could cause it some problems though.

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I think it did cause it some problems for a while...but I don't think that it does anymore. Conway has grown enough to be independant of Little Rock. Conway has almost the same things that Little Rock does now.

I believe it has developed a culture of its on. Being close to Little Rock is a good thing now...it is getting attention from companies it otherwise wouldn't have if it were further way, like Russellville.

Edited by tim2462

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Conway does sound like it starting to develop some things on its own but I still just wonder if having a city that big and that close will hamper some development. It might not get all the retail it could because people might just prefer to go to Little Rock where there's more selection already.

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That used to be a problem...but the national trend is to develop more retail and entertainment options in suburbs. That's one reason a company from Atlanta is developing that big project in Benton / Bryant...a lot of other things are happening there too, and they are a lot closer to Little Rock than Conway.

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That used to be a problem...but the national trend is to develop more retail and entertainment options in suburbs. That's one reason a company from Atlanta is developing that big project in Benton / Bryant...a lot of other things are happening there too, and they are a lot closer to Little Rock than Conway.

That is a good point. I guess I just can't help but think that being so close to Little Rock could end up hampering some growth in the future.

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Suburbs are where the major growth is nationwide. St. Louis is shrinking in size, while its suburbs to the north and especially to the west are swelling. Atlanta has about 460,000 residents, but all of its suburbs are where the major growth is...atlanta proper is barely growing...most of its metro is made up of huge growing suburbs. That's the way a lot of cities are now. Little Rock metro is no different. It's like all of those former tiny towns up here in NWA...Centerton, Farmington, Little Flock, Johnson...to name a few...being so close to the big 4 cities isn't stopping those little towns from growing like mad.

Edited by tim2462

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Suburbs are where the major growth is nationwide. St. Louis is shrinking in size, while its suburbs to the north and especially to the west are swelling. Atlanta has about 460,000 residents, but all of its suburbs are where the major growth is...atlanta proper is barely growing...most of its metro is made up of huge growing suburbs. That's the way a lot of cities are now. Little Rock metro is no different.

That is true but I don't think suburbs always end up with the same amenities that the cities they surround can offer. Maybe I'm just being picky. :D I'm not saying that suburbs and places like Conway can't be a nice place to live. But they do tend to have a different feel to them compared to cities.

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That's one thing I like about Conway...in some ways, it's a suburb of Little Rock...but in a lot of ways it's not. It's like you know Conway is close to Little Rock and is a suburb in many ways, but when you are actually in Conway, you feel like you are far away from Little Rock. It truly does have its own identity from Little Rock. You might just have to feel it to believe it.

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That's one thing I like about Conway...in some ways, it's a suburb of Little Rock...but in a lot of ways it's not. It's like you know Conway is close to Little Rock and is a suburb in many ways, but when you are actually in Conway, you feel like you are far away from Little Rock. It truly does have its own identity from Little Rock. You might just have to feel it to believe it.

Yeah I tried not to imply too much that Conway is just a suburb of Little Rock. I know it is more than that. But I do hope they manage to keep from developing into a suburb or bedroom community for Little Rock as central Arkansas keeps growing.

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Maumelle is what is developing into a bedroom community...Conway is much more than that...probably too far away for that as well.

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I went to school in Conway at Hendrix from 1993 to 1997. At that time Conway had almost nothing to do at all. The retail really picked up the last couple of years and it's finally getting some restaurants but the absence of liquor by the drink really hurts Conway. It's getting a few things but very little variety and few restaurants are upscale. It sure beats Stoby's 24/365 the way it was when I was there.

There is a small but decent downtown that needs revitalization but could become quite nice with some investment. This is where I see a few restaurants and pubs thriving were Faulkner to become dry.

I agree Conway lacks an urban vibe (aside from traffic on Harkrider) but in a lot of ways its an ideal suburb. Unfortunately the terrible traffic on I-40 between Little Rock and Conway is going to be a big issue with long-term growth.

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I went to school in Conway at Hendrix from 1993 to 1997. At that time Conway had almost nothing to do at all. The retail really picked up the last couple of years and it's finally getting some restaurants but the absence of liquor by the drink really hurts Conway. It's getting a few things but very little variety and few restaurants are upscale. It sure beats Stoby's 24/365 the way it was when I was there.

There is a small but decent downtown that needs revitalization but could become quite nice with some investment. This is where I see a few restaurants and pubs thriving were Faulkner to become dry.

I agree Conway lacks an urban vibe (aside from traffic on Harkrider) but in a lot of ways its an ideal suburb. Unfortunately the terrible traffic on I-40 between Little Rock and Conway is going to be a big issue with long-term growth.

Yeah I had forgotten about the I-40 issue hurting growth with Conway. Hopefully they'll find some way of working around this problem.

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Yeah, like 6-laning it...they widened all of the bridges to accomodate that 6 years ago...and have done nothing since.

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Is there any reason why they haven't made it 6 lanes? Is it just because they don't have the money or have it devoted to other areas already or what? Conway might have to look into some other options. Just like I think NWA will have to because the state simply won't have the money to pay for the roads will need to keep up with growth.

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Conway is having to come up with the money to build it's loop expressway. I'm not sure why the state hasn't widened i-40...the only reason I can think of is that it isn't top priority. They worked to get I-30 6 lanes down to just past Benton...that was needed more than I-40 to Conway. But there has been no mentioning of widening 40 to 6 lanes to Conway. Maybe they'll get on with it soon.

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Conway has become a regional shopping and employment destination...it's almost like its own metro in some ways.

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Conway is having to come up with the money to build it's loop expressway. I'm not sure why the state hasn't widened i-40...the only reason I can think of is that it isn't top priority. They worked to get I-30 6 lanes down to just past Benton...that was needed more than I-40 to Conway. But there has been no mentioning of widening 40 to 6 lanes to Conway. Maybe they'll get on with it soon.

I've talked to various people at Metroplan and the AHTD, and they are very aware of the need for I-40 to be expanded, but it may not happen until 2009 (I don't know why that is). Also, on the loop, most people I've talked to about it seem to think it may be 20 years before it gets built, if it does at all. The city just can't afford something that big.

You know, people in Conway complain about traffic and pot-holes, but no one wants to raise taxes to do something about. The problems will just get worse and it will have an impact on growth.

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Luckily, with all of the new retail, that will raise more tax money for those types of improvements needed.

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That and as unpopular as it is in Arkansas toll roads might have to start being considered more if people are going to want projects done under the 10-15 year period.

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yeap...and it's not like the tolls are high...it'd be well worth it.

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yeap...and it's not like the tolls are high...it'd be well worth it.

I think part of it is either idea or principle. That or maybe the fact that most people in Arkansas are just unfamiliar with them in general and don't like the idea of change.

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LOL that's AR in a nutshell...afraid of change. Luckily, with all of the new ppl moving here, things are changing.

Edited by tim2462

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LOL that's AR in a nutshell...afraid of change. Luckily, with all of the new ppl moving here, things are changing.

That and I think some people are going to realize that they're going to have to do something to keep up with growth. This is going to apply to some other areas as well not just NWA.

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