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Spaceman Spiff

Eastern Saline County/Northern Grant County

19 posts in this topic

Hey everyone, new poster here. I've been lurking for a couple of weeks since discovering this formum, and thought I'd start posting.

I live in the unincorporated community of East End, which is a CDP of approximately 5,600 (census 2000) in eastern saline county. There's a good bit of housing construction going on out my way, and a LOT of undeveloped land which is within 15-20 minutes of downtown Little Rock. A lot of the current development is in the $200,000+ range, with some additional development in the $100-150,000 range. Right now the development is fairly low-density, and isn't concentrated in any one compact area. The most heavily developed areas are along Arch Street (AR-367) and near the intersection of I-530 and US-167.

AHTD is about halfway through with 4-laning US-167 between I-530 and Sheridan, and when this widening project is finished, I expect to see an acceleration to development in this area.

Has anyone heard of any plans for large-scale development in this area? I would think it would be suitable for such, it's relatively flat with some low hills, but is not wetlands (for the most part). Most of the undeveloped land out here is owned by IP and is covered with timber right now.

Since East End is currently unincorporated, we don't get much of a voice in planning decisions and I think the area gets overlooked in most discussions of growth and future development. There was a big push to incorporate about 3 years ago, but not enough signatures were collected to get it done. A lot of the long-time residents were adamantly opposed to incorporation, mostly due to concern of increased taxes. I think long-term incorporation is probably inevitable as more and more people are moving to the area.

The area is all within the sheridan school district, which is an issue for some, as students are bussed to sheridan (15 miles south) for grades 7+. With the current growth, there is discussion within the Sheridan school board to build a Junior High in East End, but nothing has happened as of yet.

Just wanted to raise awareness of the area, and what is going on out here, and see if anyone has heard of anything in the planning stages for this area.

Great forum by the way.

Edit: Just thought I'd clarify that I'm asking about residential development in this area. There's not enough population just yet to support any sort of major retail development. The only retail development lately has been a new hardware store, a family dollar, and a few restaurants.

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The area has been growing steadily for years and I think the biggest problem right now is the lack of other communities and retail out that way (essentially on the way to Pine Bluff). The lack of retail and other amenities SE of Little Rock has stalled development but I think you'll see more in East End and Sheridan as the residential population grows.

I was interested to see Grant Co's population barely budged over the last 5 years. Like Perry Co, it's kind of just waiting for the developers to get there.

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The area has been growing steadily for years and I think the biggest problem right now is the lack of other communities and retail out that way (essentially on the way to Pine Bluff). The lack of retail and other amenities SE of Little Rock has stalled development but I think you'll see more in East End and Sheridan as the residential population grows.

I was interested to see Grant Co's population barely budged over the last 5 years. Like Perry Co, it's kind of just waiting for the developers to get there.

I think the main question about growth in this area will depend on the price of gas. Two years ago gas was below $2 and now it is around $3. In two years will it be $4 before it goes to $5?

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I think the main question about growth in this area will depend on the price of gas. Two years ago gas was below $2 and now it is around $3. In two years will it be $4 before it goes to $5?

Are you saying it would favor it or work against it?

It's not that far from downtown Little Rock - more on par with far West LR or Maumelle and certainly much closer than Conway or Cabot.

The general lack of growth on the I-530 corridor heading towards Pine Bluff is interesting. I think a lot of is that it is so far from Pulaski Co's main retail corridors and even from relatively small-scale retail such as a Wal-Mart Supercenter, etc. Nobody wants to build in SE Little Rock, though, because of the demographics, which is probably what's hampering suburban growth nearby.

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Yeah, the lack of retail is probably the biggest negative about the area right now. It's pretty much a 20 minute drive anytime you want to eat out or shop. There are a few restaurants along arch street, but not much. A subway, a cheap pizza place, a mom-and-pop home cooking place (pretty good), and a mom-and-pop italian place (never tried it). Same for the retail, we've got a harvest foods, a family dollar, a dollar general, and 2 hardware stores (one is more of a small farm supply). A couple of banks, and two gas stations.

The only grocery store is the harvest foods, and the prices and selection leave much to be desired. My wife and I make a weekly trip to the Walmart Supercenter in North Little Rock for groceries. We do most of our shopping in NLR, as the McCain-area shopping is closer to us than the WLR stuff.

I live near the US-167/I-530 junction, and I can be in downtown LR in 20 minutes or less at rush hour. It's an easier commute than almost any other suburban area outside of the LR/NLR city limits. Sherwood and Maumelle might be shorter commutes, but I think pretty much anywhere else is more than 20 min away at rush hour.

There's been a couple of large chunks of forest cleared away in the past year or two, so I suspect there may be some new subdivisions soon. One is on the south side of Woodson Lateral Road just west of I-530, south of Maple Creek Farms, another is at the intersection of 367 and 167. There are a couple of other possible subdivision sites just across the county line in far northern grant county. At least one site, on the east side of 167, has roads going in for a subdivision already. No houses yet the last time I went through there. Once 167 is 4-lanes to I-530, northern Grant county will become much more attractive.

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Yeah, the lack of retail is probably the biggest negative about the area right now. It's pretty much a 20 minute drive anytime you want to eat out or shop. There are a few restaurants along arch street, but not much. A subway, a cheap pizza place, a mom-and-pop home cooking place (pretty good), and a mom-and-pop italian place (never tried it). Same for the retail, we've got a harvest foods, a family dollar, a dollar general, and 2 hardware stores (one is more of a small farm supply). A couple of banks, and two gas stations.

The only grocery store is the harvest foods, and the prices and selection leave much to be desired. My wife and I make a weekly trip to the Walmart Supercenter in North Little Rock for groceries. We do most of our shopping in NLR, as the McCain-area shopping is closer to us than the WLR stuff.

I live near the US-167/I-530 junction, and I can be in downtown LR in 20 minutes or less at rush hour. It's an easier commute than almost any other suburban area outside of the LR/NLR city limits. Sherwood and Maumelle might be shorter commutes, but I think pretty much anywhere else is more than 20 min away at rush hour.

There's been a couple of large chunks of forest cleared away in the past year or two, so I suspect there may be some new subdivisions soon. One is on the south side of Woodson Lateral Road just west of I-530, south of Maple Creek Farms, another is at the intersection of 367 and 167. There are a couple of other possible subdivision sites just across the county line in far northern grant county. At least one site, on the east side of 167, has roads going in for a subdivision already. No houses yet the last time I went through there. Once 167 is 4-lanes to I-530, northern Grant county will become much more attractive.

Is East End in the Sheridan school district?

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Is East End in the Sheridan school district?

Yes. Pretty much all of saline county east of chicot road is in the Sheridan School district. Chicot doesn't correspond exactly to the school district boundary, but its close. The sheridan district operates two schools in East End, East End Elementary (K-2) and East End Intermediate (3-6). Grades 7+ attend school in sheridan for now. I think eventually, probably 3-5 years down the road, there will be a junior high (7-9) built in East End. I've heard the district either already owns, or is working on acquiring land near the 367/167 junction for a future junior high.

There are about 4300 students in the Sheridan district the last time I checked, and about 35% of the total is from Saline County. The Sheridan district is interesting because it is so large geographically. It covers more land area than almost any other district in the state, although the recent consolidations may have created some larger districts. Sheridan High is the 23rd largest high school in the state student-population-wise. The latest numbers from the Arkansas Activities Association show 894 students 10-12. Its actually larger than Benton.

You can look at the AAA reclassification numbers at the following link. The enrollment number is the average of the last three years 10-12 grade student population of the school. For high schools which are grades 9-12, only 10-12 is counted.

http://www.ahsaa.org/2006-2008%20Reclass%20Numbers.pdf

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Are you saying it would favor it or work against it?

It's not that far from downtown Little Rock - more on par with far West LR or Maumelle and certainly much closer than Conway or Cabot.

The general lack of growth on the I-530 corridor heading towards Pine Bluff is interesting. I think a lot of is that it is so far from Pulaski Co's main retail corridors and even from relatively small-scale retail such as a Wal-Mart Supercenter, etc. Nobody wants to build in SE Little Rock, though, because of the demographics, which is probably what's hampering suburban growth nearby.

I think higher gas prices will work against development in the area. Although it might not be that far to drive to work you still have to drive to get to any retail. What happens if the feds put the 55mph speed limit back into law?

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I think higher gas prices will work against development in the area. Although it might not be that far to drive to work you still have to drive to get to any retail. What happens if the feds put the 55mph speed limit back into law?

The continued population growth of Maumelle, Conway, Cabot, Benton and Bryant seems to go against your theory of higher gas prices detering development outside of the core cities. People are willing to pay a higher price for gas if they feel they are going to get a better quality of life.

I think a couple of things have been working against the East End area.

One, as someone mention before, the demographics in the area have worked against significant retail development and major residential development, until recently as stated by the original poster.

Two, the are in not incorporated. That may deter some builders from building in the area.

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The continued population growth of Maumelle, Conway, Cabot, Benton and Bryant seems to go against your theory of higher gas prices detering development outside of the core cities. People are willing to pay a higher price for gas if they feel they are going to get a better quality of life.

I think a couple of things have been working against the East End area.

One, as someone mention before, the demographics in the area have worked against significant retail development and major residential development, until recently as stated by the original poster.

Two, the are in not incorporated. That may deter some builders from building in the area.

I don't think my so-called theory of higher gas prices has had enough time to play out. I will be interested to see the effect of $4 or $5 gas. If the Dems gain control this fall of Congress I wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in the fuel tax. Even $3 gas could cause pain to those who moved outside the core cities with ARM's. As of now 1 out of 101 households in Arkansas are in some stage of foreclosure. I think the combination of gas prices and the increase of mortage rates will slow down the growth of these areas.

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I don't think my so-called theory of higher gas prices has had enough time to play out. I will be interested to see the effect of $4 or $5 gas. If the Dems gain control this fall of Congress I wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in the fuel tax. Even $3 gas could cause pain to those who moved outside the core cities with ARM's. As of now 1 out of 101 households in Arkansas are in some stage of foreclosure. I think the combination of gas prices and the increase of mortage rates will slow down the growth of these areas.

I still think that rising gas prices may actually favor East End (and Scott, which is in an even more favorable location) over competing communities like Mayflower, Ward/Austin, eastern Perry County, etc.

I agree the big effect of gas prices if yet to come.

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I don't think my so-called theory of higher gas prices has had enough time to play out. I will be interested to see the effect of $4 or $5 gas. If the Dems gain control this fall of Congress I wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in the fuel tax. Even $3 gas could cause pain to those who moved outside the core cities with ARM's. As of now 1 out of 101 households in Arkansas are in some stage of foreclosure. I think the combination of gas prices and the increase of mortage rates will slow down the growth of these areas.

Why would the dems raise the fuel tax. That's political suicide.

Will we see $4-$5 gas anytime soon. Maybe, maybe not. Everyone thought $3 gas would stop people from buying SUV's and moving to burbs. The sale of SUV's has slowed but people are still moving out to the burbs. Benton is thinking about having a special census b/c they think their city has grown by as much as 6000 people.

You are right about the increased mortage rates and the general softening of the real estate market effecting the growth of the area.

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Also dont forget that a south bypass is planned for southern pulaski county. It wouldnt make the drive to downtown much shorter but shopping in west Little Rock would be much more convenient.

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Also dont forget that a south bypass is planned for southern pulaski county. It wouldnt make the drive to downtown much shorter but shopping in west Little Rock would be much more convenient.

Where is the Southern Pulaski bypass planned? With I-30 there I didn't think we'd see an additional bypass down that way.

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Where is the Southern Pulaski bypass planned? With I-30 there I didn't think we'd see an additional bypass down that way.

It's not only planned, but construction is to begin in 2008 on the west end (mablevale to alexander). Basically I-430 will be extended across I-30, and will loop around through southern pulaski county to connect to I-530 just north of the wrightsville exit. It's been on the table since the mid-1980's, but hasn't ever gotten off the ground. The last plan I saw indicated that the plan had been revised to be a 2-lane bypass at first, with enough right-of-way to upgrade it to a full freeway sometime down the road.

I've linked an article below about the most recent proposal for the south loop. I believe this route was originally proposed as a freeway, but the plans have been scaled back due to less-than-expected development in southern pulaski county. There is a map of the proposed routing in the article.

http://www.arkansasleader.com/frontstories...07_04/loop.html

You can view the planned highway projects for 2007-2010 in the metroplan area at the following link.

http://www.metroplan.org/publications/2007...ftCARTS_TIP.pdf

If this were constructed, even as a 2-lane at first, it would greatly improve mobility from points south of Little Rock to West Little Rock. Right now there is no through route from I-530 to I-30 in southern pulaski county, any current routes would utilize multiple county roads, and would be far from direct.

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It's not only planned, but construction is to begin in 2008 on the west end (mablevale to alexander). Basically I-430 will be extended across I-30, and will loop around through southern pulaski county to connect to I-530 just north of the wrightsville exit. It's been on the table with AHTD since the mid-1980's, but hasn't ever gotten off the ground. The last plan I saw (article in the democrat-gazette some time last year) indicated that AHTD had revised the plan to be a 2-lane bypass at first, with enough right-of-way to upgrade it to a full freeway sometime down the road.

I've linked an article below about the most recent proposal for the south loop. I believe this route was originally proposed as a freeway, but the plans have been scaled back due to less-than-expected development in southern pulaski county. There is a map of the proposed routing in the article.

http://www.arkansasleader.com/frontstories...07_04/loop.html

You can view the planned highway projects for 2007-2010 in the metroplan area at the following link.

http://www.metroplan.org/publications/2007...ftCARTS_TIP.pdf

If this were constructed, even as a 2-lane at first, it would greatly improve mobility from points south of Little Rock to West Little Rock. Right now there is no through route from I-530 to I-30 in southern pulaski county, any current routes would utilize multiple county roads, and would be far from direct.

I read the first article and it made it sound like more of a distant thing (after the North Belt is completed) and that it wouldn't even be a controlled access road. Funding was sketchy and it sounded like the AHTD wasn't interested.

If it is going to built it probably should be a toll road and should be interstate-quality, IMO. Use would be light but have the potential to grow and it would be best-used by truckers trying to bypass I-30 through LR.

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I read the first article and it made it sound like more of a distant thing (after the North Belt is completed) and that it wouldn't even be a controlled access road. Funding was sketchy and it sounded like the AHTD wasn't interested.

If it is going to built it probably should be a toll road and should be interstate-quality, IMO. Use would be light but have the potential to grow and it would be best-used by truckers trying to bypass I-30 through LR.

I think completion of the entire route all the way around to the river port is a very distant thing, but the first stages are currently planned for construction in 2008 according to metroplan.

My hope is that the I-530 to I-30 stretch gets built in the mid-term (next 10 years or so). I don't know if the proposed section east of I-530 will ever get built.

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I think completion of the entire route all the way around to the river port is a very distant thing, but the first stages are currently planned for construction in 2008 according to metroplan.

My hope is that the I-530 to I-30 stretch gets built in the mid-term (next 10 years or so). I don't know if the proposed section east of I-530 will ever get built.

If there was ever a time to use a toll road in Arkansas this is it. It's a short segment that's not going to get a decent highway otherwise and would provide a nice shortcut for lots of folks and spur local development while allowing through traffic to avoid the downtown freeways. There was consideration at one time to making the North Belt a toll road but doing it with a loop south of town makes a lot more sense. If they did it, though, it would really need to be interstate-quality. Land shouldn't be a huge problem as it's mostly flat and undeveloped through most of its course.

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It's not only planned, but construction is to begin in 2008 on the west end (mablevale to alexander). Basically I-430 will be extended across I-30, and will loop around through southern pulaski county to connect to I-530 just north of the wrightsville exit. It's been on the table since the mid-1980's, but hasn't ever gotten off the ground. The last plan I saw indicated that the plan had been revised to be a 2-lane bypass at first, with enough right-of-way to upgrade it to a full freeway sometime down the road.

I've linked an article below about the most recent proposal for the south loop. I believe this route was originally proposed as a freeway, but the plans have been scaled back due to less-than-expected development in southern pulaski county. There is a map of the proposed routing in the article.

http://www.arkansasleader.com/frontstories...07_04/loop.html

You can view the planned highway projects for 2007-2010 in the metroplan area at the following link.

http://www.metroplan.org/publications/2007...ftCARTS_TIP.pdf

If this were constructed, even as a 2-lane at first, it would greatly improve mobility from points south of Little Rock to West Little Rock. Right now there is no through route from I-530 to I-30 in southern pulaski county, any current routes would utilize multiple county roads, and would be far from direct.

The segment you are referring to is a short "cut-through" type route near Mabelvale. Basically a two-lane road that will connect two other roads.

You're right, South Loop is definitely not a priority. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't built period in my career. (I'm always the optimist if ya'll couldn't tell) To my understanding, it is on its last legs as a concept, to be put on the back-back burner because it is near impossible to justify given its cost and the huge transportation budget shortfall.

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