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Crittenden County role in Arkansas

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This is pretty much a spin off from the Memphis thread made a while back which can be readhere

What role should west Arkansas take in the progress of the state? I always thought the isolation between Memphis and West Memphis could be fixed in the future with a bullet or maglev from downtown Memphis to downtown Little Rock, since West Memphis is closer to Downtown Memphis than many of the Mississippi suburbs which are booming unlike Arkansas. West Memphis use to be a party place for Memphians a long time ago but it has changed into a truckers haven. Southland is trying to get Memphians back in with an expansion (Article) but I don't think it'll attract tourists away from Tunica especially if the Myriad opens.

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This is pretty much a spin off from the Memphis thread made a while back which can be readhere

What role should west Arkansas take in the progress of the state? I always thought the isolation between Memphis and West Memphis could be fixed in the future with a bullet or maglev from downtown Memphis to downtown Little Rock, since West Memphis is closer to Downtown Memphis than many of the Mississippi suburbs which are booming unlike Arkansas. West Memphis use to be a party place for Memphians a long time ago but it has changed into a truckers haven. Southland is trying to get Memphians back in with an expansion (Article) but I don't think it'll attract tourists away from Tunica especially if the Myriad opens.

I admit I'm not very familiar with that part of the state. But no I can't say I've heard any good things about West Memphis. It would seem to me to have some potential being so close to acity as big as Memphis. Now future development seems more likely to skip over West Memphis and head to Marion instead.

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This is pretty much a spin off from the Memphis thread made a while back which can be readhere

What role should west Arkansas take in the progress of the state? I always thought the isolation between Memphis and West Memphis could be fixed in the future with a bullet or maglev from downtown Memphis to downtown Little Rock, since West Memphis is closer to Downtown Memphis than many of the Mississippi suburbs which are booming unlike Arkansas. West Memphis use to be a party place for Memphians a long time ago but it has changed into a truckers haven. Southland is trying to get Memphians back in with an expansion (Article) but I don't think it'll attract tourists away from Tunica especially if the Myriad opens.

West Memphis isn't that isolated from Memphis--no more than a 10 minute drive to downtown. It's just that part of the metro that's industrial/transportation/trucking oriented. Most cities have areas like that which aren't considered particularly desirable as places to live.

Even though West Memphis and Marion are virtually adjacent, Marion has shown some life as a bedroom community recently. But having grown up in Memphis, I can tell you that Crittenden has no appeal for Memphians moving to the suburbs. The fastest growing city around Memphis is Collierville--c. 35,000 pop--in East Shelby County, close to 30 miles from downtown. The growth of Memphis has always been eastward, and now recently southward into Mississippi.

Another factor too for residential is that the land in Crittenden is perfectly flat, with few trees. On the east bank of the River, the land is at least slightly rolling and forested.

I would say though that Crittenden has benefited from its location next to Memphis. It's one of the few Delta counties that has maintained or slightly increased its population.

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That area needs another bridge or two to help it assimilate more into the overal scheme of the region. A western arc to 269 will help.

what also might help is if the municipalities there try creative ways to distinguish their towns from G'town, Collierville, N. MS, etc. I might recommend that Marion or another town consider a city development plan similar to, say, Kirkwood, MO. To me, all the suburbs in metro Memphis are very similar, and -- layout wise -- pretty bland. Riverbend is too premature to get a sense of how it might look. I could see a demand for a new urbanist suburb that has at its core a pedestrian-oriented layout. Honestly, no other suburb provides that, although there were rumors Bartlett might be going in that direction to a small extent.

I don't know how you make that happen, who needs to be convinced, etc. I would like to see it though.

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That area needs another bridge or two to help it assimilate more into the overal scheme of the region. A western arc to 269 will help.

what also might help is if the municipalities there try creative ways to distinguish their towns from G'town, Collierville, N. MS, etc. I might recommend that Marion or another town consider a city development plan similar to, say, Kirkwood, MO. To me, all the suburbs in metro Memphis are very similar, and -- layout wise -- pretty bland. Riverbend is too premature to get a sense of how it might look. I could see a demand for a new urbanist suburb that has at its core a pedestrian-oriented layout. Honestly, no other suburb provides that, although there were rumors Bartlett might be going in that direction to a small extent.

I don't know how you make that happen, who needs to be convinced, etc. I would like to see it though.

You do raise some interesting ideas. Crittenden County is in an enviable position compared to other Delta cities because it will always have Memphis across the Mississippi River. However, doing better than most Delta cities isn't saying much. I'd like to see Crittenden County play a more important role in the Memphis metro, as the Mississippi suburbs are now. The difference is that Southaven doesn't have a huge river and swampland separating it from Memphis. Those of y'all in the Memphis area would know the extent to which West Memphis or Marion could position themselves as bedroom communities better than I. How far do you think Memphis suburbs can sprawl east and south before Crittenden County becomes an attractive option? It would just be a short drive into the heart of downtown Memphis. I know West Memphis has image problems, but I could see a developer being successful with affordable new neighborhoods. Thoughts?

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You do raise some interesting ideas. Crittenden County is in an enviable position compared to other Delta cities because it will always have Memphis across the Mississippi River. However, doing better than most Delta cities isn't saying much. I'd like to see Crittenden County play a more important role in the Memphis metro, as the Mississippi suburbs are now. The difference is that Southaven doesn't have a huge river and swampland separating it from Memphis. Those of y'all in the Memphis area would know the extent to which West Memphis or Marion could position themselves as bedroom communities better than I. How far do you think Memphis suburbs can sprawl east and south before Crittenden County becomes an attractive option? It would just be a short drive into the heart of downtown Memphis. I know West Memphis has image problems, but I could see a developer being successful with affordable new neighborhoods. Thoughts?

I think Memphis will just keep expanding eastward. Actually, there's a sliver of the city limits which abuts Fayette County which is the county just east of Shelby County--and is close to 30 miles from downtown.

With the new census estimates, the fastest growing town in TN is Oakdale in Fayette County, probably 30 miles from downtown.

Even Collierville is a good 25 miles from downtown, and that's a heavily developed suburb.

The Mississippi suburbs are about 10 or so miles from town.

I really think most people who want to be close to downtown Memphis will just choose to live downtown which has an abundance of apartments and condos. Or, if they want a single-family home, they'll choose Midtown.

While I have read that Marion has a few new subdivisions and new retail, I think it will be a long time before Crittenden is seen as a really desirable area. The good news is that the new census estimates show both Marion and West Memphis increasing their population.

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For any cities in that area to show population growth is certainly a good sign. There aren't too many places in eastern Arkansas growing at all. Most of them are lucky if they are losing people left and right.

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You do raise some interesting ideas. Crittenden County is in an enviable position compared to other Delta cities because it will always have Memphis across the Mississippi River. However, doing better than most Delta cities isn't saying much. I'd like to see Crittenden County play a more important role in the Memphis metro, as the Mississippi suburbs are now. The difference is that Southaven doesn't have a huge river and swampland separating it from Memphis. Those of y'all in the Memphis area would know the extent to which West Memphis or Marion could position themselves as bedroom communities better than I. How far do you think Memphis suburbs can sprawl east and south before Crittenden County becomes an attractive option? It would just be a short drive into the heart of downtown Memphis. I know West Memphis has image problems, but I could see a developer being successful with affordable new neighborhoods. Thoughts?

That's what I was thinking-- that perhaps part of the residential boom of Crittenden County is due to the fact that affordable housing 10-15 mi from downtown (and possible employment) is now becoming more desirable than finding affordable housing 25+ mi in Tenn or Miss. Plus, perhaps, the perception of Crittenden Co is becoming better (I heard Marion schools have a decent reputation).

Other than their industrial-related growth, you can definitely see quite a bit of residential construction going on, particularly in Marion. Some of those new houses are very nice and large on decent-sized lots.

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