tim2462

North Little Rock Development

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Anyone want to speculate on where a planned community like this would work on the NLR Riverfront? It seems like the majority of the land immediately west of I-30 is occupied/limited. Maybe on the East side of the bridge across from the Clinton Library?

I would say to the West of the Broadway/Pike intersection. North of River Rd.

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I would say to the West of the Broadway/Pike intersection. North of River Rd.

I would say you are correct. Though I don't know the details.

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If they build this I would be very interested in moving into it. That would take a lot of optimism and a huge investment but it could also end up being very profitable. I thought building residences on Mud Island was crazy at one time but that sure turned out to be a good idea.

It seems obvious who's probably behind this. The Belz family developed most of Mud Island including Harbor Town. This is the same family that owns the Peabody chain (including the one in LR) and is behind the Shoppes at North Hills/Bass Pro Shop. They are very interested in downtown LR/NLR development.

Harbor Town actually won first prize from the Urban Land Institute.

Edited by Aporkalypse

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I was driving around NLR the other day and ended up driving around Ft. Roots (VA Hospital Campus) and there are some nice old houses up there, some with awesome views across the river to downtown little rock.

Does the VA own all of these houses? Does anyone live in them or are they used as offices/storage? That is an amazing piece of real estate up there, and if the VA isn't using all of it, it would be nice to see some of it put to use as residential.

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I was driving around NLR the other day and ended up driving around Ft. Roots (VA Hospital Campus) and there are some nice old houses up there, some with awesome views across the river to downtown little rock.

Does the VA own all of these houses? Does anyone live in them or are they used as offices/storage? That is an amazing piece of real estate up there, and if the VA isn't using all of it, it would be nice to see some of it put to use as residential.

Ft. Roots is one of the more interesting parts of the LR/NLR area. It is a look back in time around the parade grounds. Next to Ft. Roots is Emerald Park. Emerald Park is 135 acre city park with a 9 hole golf course owned by NLR. I don't know how much the course is used with Burns Park only a few miles away with a 36 hole course.

Also, the old Baptist Hospital of NLR and Pulaski Tech are in the area.

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I was driving around NLR the other day and ended up driving around Ft. Roots (VA Hospital Campus) and there are some nice old houses up there, some with awesome views across the river to downtown little rock.

Does the VA own all of these houses? Does anyone live in them or are they used as offices/storage? That is an amazing piece of real estate up there, and if the VA isn't using all of it, it would be nice to see some of it put to use as residential.

I think you're talking about the row of houses that face an open field with the river in the distance. Those are former officer's quarters and all of them were built in the 1880s-1900 or so. Those houses are available for rental by VA employees but there's a long waiting list. I have a cousin that's a VA administrator that lives in one of them.

Ft Roots was initially built as a resort in the late 1800s because of that stellar view you're talking about. Sometime before WWI it was converted to a fort and many of the current buildings including those around the parade ground were built. After WWII it ceased to serve a military function and was eventually given to the VA. Most of the buildings serve some sort of administrative function for the VA system save the hospital which is on your right when you enter, which was built sometime in the 1980s.

Ft Roots is beautiful. If the VA ever were to consolidate operations and move its operations to LR that would make an outstanding opportunity for residential development up there. That won't be happening for decades, though.

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I think you're talking about the row of houses that face an open field with the river in the distance. Those are former officer's quarters and all of them were built in the 1880s-1900 or so. Those houses are available for rental by VA employees but there's a long waiting list. I have a cousin that's a VA administrator that lives in one of them.

Ft Roots was initially built as a resort in the late 1800s because of that stellar view you're talking about. Sometime before WWI it was converted to a fort and many of the current buildings including those around the parade ground were built. After WWII it ceased to serve a military function and was eventually given to the VA. Most of the buildings serve some sort of administrative function for the VA system save the hospital which is on your right when you enter, which was built sometime in the 1980s.

Ft Roots is beautiful. If the VA ever were to consolidate operations and move its operations to LR that would make an outstanding opportunity for residential development up there. That won't be happening for decades, though.

I always heard that the reason Ft Roots developed was the air. High above the low land of the city. Not only was it cleaner but cooler in the summer.

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I always heard that the reason Ft Roots developed was the air. High above the low land of the city. Not only was it cleaner but cooler in the summer.

A Little Rock citizens group acquired the site in 1893 and exchanged it with the Federal government for what is now MacArthur Park. It was named after Logan Roots, a former Union officer who had settled in LR after the war.

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I had guessed that those homes had been used as officer's quarters.

The nearby scenic hill neighborhood also has some homes with great views, as does the old baptist hospital site.

Are there any plans to do anything with the hospital property? I know at one point some state agencies were looking at using it as office space, but that plan was dropped as far as I know.

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I had guessed that those homes had been used as officer's quarters.

The nearby scenic hill neighborhood also has some homes with great views, as does the old baptist hospital site.

Are there any plans to do anything with the hospital property? I know at one point some state agencies were looking at using it as office space, but that plan was dropped as far as I know.

There was some talk about the homeless shelter that owns the old Dillard's HQ on Capitol moving to the hospital. If they could work out things with the site then they would sell their LR building.

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There was some talk about the homeless shelter that owns the old Dillard's HQ on Capitol moving to the hospital. If they could work out things with the site then they would sell their LR building.

You're talking about two different hospitals. The old Baptist Memorial was mentioned as a shelter not the VA facility at Ft. Roots/

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You're talking about two different hospitals. The old Baptist Memorial was mentioned as a shelter not the VA facility at Ft. Roots/

I was talking about the old Baptist Hospital site. I think Spaceman Spiff was talking about this when he ask about plans for the hospital property in his post. As he was talking about the old Baptist Hospital.

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I was talking about the old Baptist Hospital site. I think Spaceman Spiff was talking about this when he ask about plans for the hospital property in his post. As he was talking about the old Baptist Hospital.

Sorry about that, I see that he did mention the BMH in his post.

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I had guessed that those homes had been used as officer's quarters.

The nearby scenic hill neighborhood also has some homes with great views, as does the old baptist hospital site.

Are there any plans to do anything with the hospital property? I know at one point some state agencies were looking at using it as office space, but that plan was dropped as far as I know.

It was used as temporary office space for state agencies for some time. I think they might've moved back to downtown office buildings since then but I'm not sure about that.

I like the homeless shelter idea. Anything we can do to keep the homeless pedestrian traffic though downtown to a minimum will help the area grow. There is either a Goodwill or Salvation Army location on E Markham near the train station that is absolutely stalling development down there. That's really all that's preventing full redevelopment of the street all the way from the Clinton Library to the Train Station. Plus, a full service homeless facility in a large building like that with bus access has advantages.

Old hospitals like that are difficult to reuse. The old VA hospital in downtown LR was abandoned for years. Recently it was occupied but really it's a 3rd tier use, it's a shadow of what it used to be. Reusing those old buildings is a real problem. Major renovation is usually difficult because of asbestos. It's cheaper to tear down the building and rebuild in some cases.

Thankfully, UALR's law school occupied the former UAMS campus or that would've been an issue as well.

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---------------------------------------------------------------

This downtown NLR residential project is exciting and interesting but we know it won't be a carbon copy of Harbor Town. It will have to have significant differences.

Some thoughts I've had about this:

1) How large will the project be? Harbor Town has 500 homes and 400 apts with condos added later and quite a bit of retail mixed to create an "urban village". For the project to work it will have to function to some degree as a self-sustaining community the way Harbor Town does. If the scale is dramatically less, say 50-80 homes, I doubt it does well. It has to be large enough to create a community, not just a small collection of houses like Canal Pointe in Riverdale. Being large enough to have its own grocery, like Harbor Town, would be important.

2) Relating to the first point, is there enough land to make this possible? I don't know about the acreage being discussed but even with the fairly tight lots a project of this scale takes a lot of space. Scaling it down will make it less likely to be successful.

3) Does Lisa Ferrell have the backing and finances to pull this off? I don't know much about her but this is a huge project. If someone like the Belzes or Stephens or Frank Fletcher is backing here I think it is feasible. It's a huge investment.

4) How would you allow for the marina aspect? Do you build a harbor or canals into the development? Would a seawall be adequate to protect boatslips? It's tricky.

5) Safety will be a major concern. Harbor Town flourished in part because it is on an island with only one entrance and exit. Do you build a wall around the development and gate it? What about building canals around it for boats to create a "moat"? Otherwise it would struggle to be the family-friendly neighborhood that Harbor Town is. It's quite sketchy at night.

6) A downtown residential neighborhood of this magnitude could really help Main and downtown Argenta flourish with shops and businesses. Hopefully it would help with that dead zone along the trolley line on Maple.

7) I think preserving the architecture found in places like Seaside and Harbor Town would be a major selling point. I would hope they would do this with this development.

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---------------------------------------------------------------

5) Safety will be a major concern. Harbor Town flourished in part because it is on an island with only one entrance and exit. Do you build a wall around the development and gate it? What about building canals around it for boats to create a "moat"? Otherwise it would struggle to be the family-friendly neighborhood that Harbor Town is. It's quite sketchy at night.

This was my primary concern. I worked in this area of NLR during the summers in college. It's not a place I'd like to live without some precautions in place to address the crime issues first. I do think you're right. If this project is big enough, it may be the project that solidifies the success of resedential and retail in downtown NLR.

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This was my primary concern. I worked in this area of NLR during the summers in college. It's not a place I'd like to live without some precautions in place to address the crime issues first. I do think you're right. If this project is big enough, it may be the project that solidifies the success of resedential and retail in downtown NLR.

If the project is big enough it can help create its own safety. One entrance and one exit with a manned gate left open would probably be sufficient but I'm afraid a gated community would change the ambience. I like the idea of canals creating a moat and channels through the development with a single bridge in and out but that sounds rather expensive. If you have vagrants wandering through the development at night you're never going to get the "hip professionals with kids" crowd that Harbor Town was founded on.

Having a manned gate or efficient neighborhood watch would be too expensive with a small development, though.

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---------------------------------------------------------------

This downtown NLR residential project is exciting and interesting but we know it won't be a carbon copy of Harbor Town. It will have to have significant differences.

Some thoughts I've had about this:

1) How large will the project be? Harbor Town has 500 homes and 400 apts with condos added later and quite a bit of retail mixed to create an "urban village". For the project to work it will have to function to some degree as a self-sustaining community the way Harbor Town does. If the scale is dramatically less, say 50-80 homes, I doubt it does well. It has to be large enough to create a community, not just a small collection of houses like Canal Pointe in Riverdale. Being large enough to have its own grocery, like Harbor Town, would be important.

2) Relating to the first point, is there enough land to make this possible? I don't know about the acreage being discussed but even with the fairly tight lots a project of this scale takes a lot of space. Scaling it down will make it less likely to be successful.

3) Does Lisa Ferrell have the backing and finances to pull this off? I don't know much about her but this is a huge project. If someone like the Belzes or Stephens or Frank Fletcher is backing here I think it is feasible. It's a huge investment.

4) How would you allow for the marina aspect? Do you build a harbor or canals into the development? Would a seawall be adequate to protect boatslips? It's tricky.

5) Safety will be a major concern. Harbor Town flourished in part because it is on an island with only one entrance and exit. Do you build a wall around the development and gate it? What about building canals around it for boats to create a "moat"? Otherwise it would struggle to be the family-friendly neighborhood that Harbor Town is. It's quite sketchy at night.

6) A downtown residential neighborhood of this magnitude could really help Main and downtown Argenta flourish with shops and businesses. Hopefully it would help with that dead zone along the trolley line on Maple.

7) I think preserving the architecture found in places like Seaside and Harbor Town would be a major selling point. I would hope they would do this with this development.

I am familiar with the project and it is not downtown or near dowtown NLR. It is much further west upriver across from Riverdale. So, while its not dramatically different, the security dynamic you guys are mentioning is quite different in this location (i.e. no transient traffic, etc.).

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I am familiar with the project and it is not downtown or near dowtown NLR. It is much further west upriver across from Riverdale. So, while its not dramatically different, the security dynamic you guys are mentioning is quite different in this location (i.e. no transient traffic, etc.).

Ah, I clearly did have the wrong idea about the location.

Still, that would put it either in front of Emerald Park or near the River where Vestal Park is along River Rd somewhere. That whole area is pretty high-crime, probably the worst part of NLR after Eastgate Terrace. I personally still wouldn't feel comfortable there if that's where it is. You won't get the vagrant/homeless traffic you would in downtown proper, though.

Come on, spill the beans if you can...

Edited by Aporkalypse

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right-- west of Pike Ave, north of River Rd (across from Riverdale)

The only reason I know is because I heard that the developers and NLR want to put a roundabout on Pike Ave and Broadway where an entrance to the proposed development would be to the west.

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right-- west of Pike Ave, north of River Rd (across from Riverdale)

The only reason I know is because I heard that the developers and NLR want to put a roundabout on Pike Ave and Broadway where an entrance to the proposed development would be to the west.

Ah, I understand exactly where that is. There are some pretty bluffs near there. You would think to make this succeed it would have to have a marina component which at could at that location. That also would be an easy place to have a "one way in, one way out" development. There's only one way to get there and that's River Road.

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right-- west of Pike Ave, north of River Rd (across from Riverdale)

The only reason I know is because I heard that the developers and NLR want to put a roundabout on Pike Ave and Broadway where an entrance to the proposed development would be to the west.

Is the the old quarry property where the River Canyon project was to go?

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Is the the old quarry property where the River Canyon project was to go?

The same, adjacent to Emerald Park.

It's a good location for this sort of thing aside from its proximity to a rough neighborhood nearby. It's kind of isolated from easy interstate access, I guess, but most people living there would probably work downtown anyway and it's very close to downtown.

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