Arkansawyer

Park Plaza Mall

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Turboturtle already posted this, but I'm giving it a topic unto itself. Here's the article again from Arkansas Business.

Here is some of the key information. As part of a "grand scale" renovation that will begin this month, managers say that they plan to add at least one new store. Last year CBL & Associates Properties Inc., the largest owner of malls and shopping centers in the Southeast, purchased the mall for $77.5 million.

The article mentions the new competition from Midtowne Little Rock. I wonder how much of an impact that had on the decision to renovate Park Plaza.

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Turboturtle already posted this, but I'm giving it a topic unto itself. Here's the article again from Arkansas Business.

Here is some of the key information. As part of a "grand scale" renovation that will begin this month, managers say that they plan to add at least one new store. Last year CBL & Associates Properties Inc., the largest owner of malls and shopping centers in the Southeast, purchased the mall for $77.5 million.

The article mentions the new competition from Midtowne Little Rock. I wonder how much of an impact that had on the decision to renovate Park Plaza.

Sure, in a way it's competition but in a way it's bringing in a bigger variety of stores to increase their business. Park Plaza's never had much trouble maximizing occupancy. It's only natural that one shopping center will help bring in business for another and this will augment the area's status as a retail center, probably also helping to bring in more upscale retail to replace University when it is torn down.

I'm sure they will compete with one another for new tenants, though, which is why they felt the renovation was necessary. I'm glad to hear it, it will be improving what is already the nicest mall in the state.

It is important with multiple new retail centers going up to keep its edge. The Promenade and Pleasant Ridge are nice developments and Simon's still working on a big project in West LR, though I've been hearing that since I was in Jr High.

Edited by Aporkalypse

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I was looking for sketches of the redone Park Plaza mall when I found this article. Interesting mention for Park Plaza in an article about whether to rebuild or tear down malls...

Rebuild or demolish?

The interesting excerpt:

"Michael Rulli, CEO of Coyote Management in Dallas, says sales at Park Plaza, a 650,000-square-foot dumbbell mall in Little Rock, Ark., that was demolished and rebuilt as a 1.1 million-square-foot space in 1988, more than tripled to $350 per square foot from $100 a square foot. Park Place is considered the classic model of repositioning

Edited by Aporkalypse

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I was looking for sketches of the redone Park Plaza mall when I found this article. Interesting mention for Park Plaza in an article about whether to rebuild or tear down malls...

Rebuild or demolish?

The interesting excerpt:

"Michael Rulli, CEO of Coyote Management in Dallas, says sales at Park Plaza, a 650,000-square-foot dumbbell mall in Little Rock, Ark., that was demolished and rebuilt as a 1.1 million-square-foot space in 1988, more than tripled to $350 per square foot from $100 a square foot. Park Place is considered the classic model of repositioning

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Interesting article. So Park Plaza existed before the mall we see today? Guess I never realized that.

It's interesting how everything seems to cycle. The old Park Plaza was an outdoor shopping center with a Dillard's configured around a central plaza with lots of fountains - exactly what's become trendy today. At almost the exact same time in the late 80s University was converted from an outdoor shopping center to indoor mall. Both projects were huge at the time, a genuinely big deal. At that time the indoor malls in Little Rock were the failing Main St Mall downtown and Southwest Mall, which later ended up becoming the Arkansas State Police HQs.

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It's interesting how everything seems to cycle. The old Park Plaza was an outdoor shopping center with a Dillard's configured around a central plaza with lots of fountains - exactly what's become trendy today. At almost the exact same time in the late 80s University was converted from an outdoor shopping center to indoor mall. Both projects were huge at the time, a genuinely big deal. At that time the indoor malls in Little Rock were the failing Main St Mall downtown and Southwest Mall, which later ended up becoming the Arkansas State Police HQs.

I guess I had never thought of what those malls were beforehand. It is ironic hearing about what they were before and that they could be more popular today in their previous states, in an updated form of course.

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I guess I had never thought of what those malls were beforehand. It is ironic hearing about what they were before and that they could be more popular today in their previous states, in an updated form of course.

In all fairness, Park Plaza is probably still the busiest mall in Arkansas in traffic per square foot. It doesn't have multiple big anchors as McCain and the NWA Mall do, though. I think Park Plaza is better off as an indoor mall. I think the ultimate folly was just having two large malls across the street from one another. JC Penney's and MM Cohn's did well for years at University but almost all of the worthwhile smaller tenants (Abercrombie, the big jewelry chains, etc) that had to choose one site or the other chose Park Plaza. Park Plaza is too small to fill demand for upscale stores, though, which is why a smaller "lifestyle center" across the street will probably do well. Some of the stores like Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma prefer street frontage as opposed to mall-only access.

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It's interesting how everything seems to cycle. The old Park Plaza was an outdoor shopping center with a Dillard's configured around a central plaza with lots of fountains - exactly what's become trendy today. At almost the exact same time in the late 80s University was converted from an outdoor shopping center to indoor mall. Both projects were huge at the time, a genuinely big deal. At that time the indoor malls in Little Rock were the failing Main St Mall downtown and Southwest Mall, which later ended up becoming the Arkansas State Police HQs.

I believe that you are wrong about University Mall. It was never an outdoor shopping center. It did go through a rehab in the 80's whenI it got a food court with a tent on top. When it was built Cohn's was only one floor and there was no parking deck. I think it was only one level. As for Park Plaza the 80's rehab was the second for the shopping center. When it was built there was a waterfall on the east end that ended up in the garden level. For a long time about the only activity on this level was the bowling alley and a S&H Green Stamp outlet. A water feature extended the length of this level. One thing not mentioned was the power plant. On the north side in the basement was a large gas fired power plant along the lines of the one in the Arkla building downtown. Dillards was on the west end of the center and was seperate from the rest of the center. On the Markham St. southwest corner of the Dillards building was a Gordon's. Most of the center faced the inside. The drug store east of Dillards had a enterance from the parking lot facing Markham. The only other stores to do this were Garrett's Florist, Lewis'. Joe's Hobby Shop and Sterlings had a small door at the far southeast corner before the ramp. I don't think there were more than twenty stores in the center at this time. Between the florist and Lewis' was the main entrance with ramps going to the main level and to the garden level.

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I believe that you are wrong about University Mall. It was never an outdoor shopping center. It did go through a rehab in the 80's whenI it got a food court with a tent on top. When it was built Cohn's was only one floor and there was no parking deck. I think it was only one level. As for Park Plaza the 80's rehab was the second for the shopping center. When it was built there was a waterfall on the east end that ended up in the garden level. For a long time about the only activity on this level was the bowling alley and a S&H Green Stamp outlet. A water feature extended the length of this level. One thing not mentioned was the power plant. On the north side in the basement was a large gas fired power plant along the lines of the one in the Arkla building downtown. Dillards was on the west end of the center and was seperate from the rest of the center. On the Markham St. southwest corner of the Dillards building was a Gordon's. Most of the center faced the inside. The drug store east of Dillards had a enterance from the parking lot facing Markham. The only other stores to do this were Garrett's Florist, Lewis'. Joe's Hobby Shop and Sterlings had a small door at the far southeast corner before the ramp. I don't think there were more than twenty stores in the center at this time. Between the florist and Lewis' was the main entrance with ramps going to the main level and to the garden level.

Skirby - you are absolutely correct. University Mall was an "indoor" mall from the beginning. Aporkalypse did correctly describe Park Plaza however, as did you. University Mall was EXACTLY like the "original" NWA Mall before its renovation - similar era, one level, budget development. The renovation took a different tact however. While NWA upgraded finishes and expanded horizontally, University Mall - given its more urban, constrained context went up by adding a level, created a fabric tent structure (like Eastland Mall in Tulsa - though I hear it's seen better days as well), and added a parking deck. At both mall's inception, many, many of the same stores had locations at both malls...Express, Limited, Benetton (remember those?), etc.

Oh...and lest people be led astray by the misguidance of many a journalist, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE NORTH UNIVERSITY/MID-TOWN AREA OF LITTLE ROCK!!! You can throw a rock and hit the most expensive neighborhoods in town. The only decline in this part of town is University Mall itself, and that has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PART OF TOWN IT IS IN....it has everything to do with competition...it is sited across from Park Plaza. Folks, one or the other would have failed had they been located on Chenal Parkway or I-430. Sheeesh.

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One of the members of the city board was talking about building a pedestrian bridge over University between Park Plaza and the new center under construction, what do you think? If they do it I think they should also put one across Markham between the new center and the hospital.

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One of the members of the city board was talking about building a pedestrian bridge over University between Park Plaza and the new center under construction, what do you think? If they do it I think they should also put one across Markham between the new center and the hospital.

I think that's a great idea. Park your car once, and shop til you drop. Multiple retail centers in the area will be a good thing for both Park Plaza and the new center. It's like hotels or restaurants, they tend to do better when placed within walking distance of each other.

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Skirby - you are absolutely correct. University Mall was an "indoor" mall from the beginning. Aporkalypse did correctly describe Park Plaza however, as did you. University Mall was EXACTLY like the "original" NWA Mall before its renovation - similar era, one level, budget development. The renovation took a different tact however. While NWA upgraded finishes and expanded horizontally, University Mall - given its more urban, constrained context went up by adding a level, created a fabric tent structure (like Eastland Mall in Tulsa - though I hear it's seen better days as well), and added a parking deck. At both mall's inception, many, many of the same stores had locations at both malls...Express, Limited, Benetton (remember those?), etc.

I really don't remember University Mall too well. I guess I never realized the similarities to the NWA Mall.

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I believe that you are wrong about University Mall. It was never an outdoor shopping center. It did go through a rehab in the 80's whenI it got a food court with a tent on top. When it was built Cohn's was only one floor and there was no parking deck. I think it was only one level. As for Park Plaza the 80's rehab was the second for the shopping center. When it was built there was a waterfall on the east end that ended up in the garden level. For a long time about the only activity on this level was the bowling alley and a S&H Green Stamp outlet. A water feature extended the length of this level. One thing not mentioned was the power plant. On the north side in the basement was a large gas fired power plant along the lines of the one in the Arkla building downtown. Dillards was on the west end of the center and was seperate from the rest of the center. On the Markham St. southwest corner of the Dillards building was a Gordon's. Most of the center faced the inside. The drug store east of Dillards had a enterance from the parking lot facing Markham. The only other stores to do this were Garrett's Florist, Lewis'. Joe's Hobby Shop and Sterlings had a small door at the far southeast corner before the ramp. I don't think there were more than twenty stores in the center at this time. Between the florist and Lewis' was the main entrance with ramps going to the main level and to the garden level.

I remembered the fabric tent structure, I had thought it was outdoors before that. Keep in mind that I'm only 30, anything before 1985 happened when I was less than 10 yrs old and my memory's sketchy. I remember Park Plaza well.

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The building permit for the renovation of Park Plaza has been issued. The permit is for $11,250,000.

Hmmmm....not as much as I had though they were going to do, but that'll go a long way if the "owner" is merely spending this on just the public, common areas (not the stores - that would be up to the tenant).

This whole thing will complement Midtowne across the street quite well. This is turning out to be the ideal scenario - rejuvenating midtown shopping - renovation of what was already the nicest mall in the state, then throwing in the most upscale "lifestyle" center - and stifling westward sprawl. If Summit had gone ahead, I'm not sure LR would have been better off.

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Hmmmm....not as much as I had though they were going to do, but that'll go a long way if the "owner" is merely spending this on just the public, common areas (not the stores - that would be up to the tenant).

This whole thing will complement Midtowne across the street quite well. This is turning out to be the ideal scenario - rejuvenating midtown shopping - renovation of what was already the nicest mall in the state, then throwing in the most upscale "lifestyle" center - and stifling westward sprawl. If Summit had gone ahead, I'm not sure LR would have been better off.

I'm glad the summit was never created..... from what I heard, midtown would have suffered severely.

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I'm one of the ones that wish the Summit Mall would've been built. It would've been over 1,000,000 sq. ft; we don't have any large malls. They city is spreading west, there's nothing that can be done to stop that. There are many ways for midtown to hold its own. We have to remember that Dillard's is building its flagship store on Chenal in the Promenade at Chenal, and the Park Plaza locations very well could close. J.C. Penney is moving out of University Mall and is locating in the Brodie Creek development on Colonel Glenn across from the Rave. What doesn't make sense to me, is how people fought the summit mall, but a huge shopping area is going to be built there anyway, and no one has said anything in objection. It's going to be a huge lifestyle center and will even have a wal-mart supercenter.

Edited by tim2462

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I'm one of the ones that wish the Summit Mall would've been built. It would've been over 1,000,000 sq. ft; we don't have any large malls. They city is spreading west, there's nothing that can be done to stop that. There are many ways for midtown to hold its own. We have to remember that Dillard's is building its flagship store on Chenal in the Promenade at Chenal, and the Park Plaza locations very well could close. J.C. Penney is moving out of University Mall and is locating in the Brodie Creek development on Colonel Glenn across from the Rave. What doesn't make sense to me, is how people fought the summit mall, but a huge shopping area is going to be built there anyway, and no one has said anything in objection. It's going to be a huge lifestyle center and will even have a wal-mart supercenter.

I don't see how a bunch of smaller lifestyle centers scattered throughout town really eclipse a giant regional retail center, so in that aspect I agree. If Simon really wasn't willing to build the infrastructure to make it happen, widening Shackleford and building the interchange there, then the city's not at fault. Projects like that are expected to pay for themselves - there's no reason for LR to throw in $20-30 million for road improvements just to make it happen.

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I hope you are all sitting down for this. A new tenant to Park Plaza Mall discovered by cleaver detective work in the Plan Review site. A big round of applause for the Ozark Mountain Nut Roaster. Whoooooooo Pig!

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I don't see how a bunch of smaller lifestyle centers scattered throughout town really eclipse a giant regional retail center, so in that aspect I agree. If Simon really wasn't willing to build the infrastructure to make it happen, widening Shackleford and building the interchange there, then the city's not at fault. Projects like that are expected to pay for themselves - there's no reason for LR to throw in $20-30 million for road improvements just to make it happen.

True - Simon should have been willing to pay out of hand for the traffic improvements, seeing as how Clary Development - a local (and national) player - is doing so. Anyway, the traffic excuse was pathetic, but that wasn't what killed it.

Looking back on it, as much as a large development had lots of positives as I've posted before, it would have had a significant NEGATIVE impact on midtown due to its adjacency - so in that respect, I'm glad that it didn't happen. However, most of the arguments that were used against it were without base....

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I hope you are all sitting down for this. A new tenant to Park Plaza Mall discovered by cleaver detective work in the Plan Review site. A big round of applause for the Ozark Mountain Nut Roaster. Whoooooooo Pig!

If the same store were located in University it would be called "Deez Nutz".

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The article in Arkansas Business that someone quoted on another thread regarding 3 pending downtown developments also stated that a "major" tenant announcement is forthcoming in November for the First Level of Park Plaza. Any guesses? Apple?

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The article in Arkansas Business that someone quoted on another thread regarding 3 pending downtown developments also stated that a "major" tenant announcement is forthcoming in November for the First Level of Park Plaza. Any guesses? Apple?

I figured it would be a large tenant because of all the space they would have where the theater vacated. Anthropologie?

If it only it were a Cheesecake Factory...

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