Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

KJW

Rogers may become a "design center" for the region?

91 posts in this topic


That was on Sunday.

Yesterday there was this little piece in the same paper:

Besides the Benchmark Group, we've discussed Rogers-based PB2 before on these forums.

The U of A has a very good architecture school, no? And just a few counties up the road to the northeast, Drury University of Springfield (which recruits heavily in NWA for students...state Rep. Keven Anderson of Rogers is a DU alumnus who played basketball there) has what it says is the first accredited architecture school in a "liberal arts setting". DU's school is making a name for itself as well.

Hope maybe we'll see a world-renowned "Frank Lloyd Mith" based in Rogers or NWA some day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds interesting

Maybe if a design school or something opened up in Rogers.

Was E. Fay Jones from Rogers or Fayetteville?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He was born in Pine Bluff.

I still say that any cultural or design center would be much better of in Fayetteville. It would be more accepted. Take a look at Lacuna Furniture store off of College. That's about the nicest, most modern urban retail store I've seen in NWA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt, just a thought but since PB2 and Benchmark (along with others, possibly) are based in Rogers I'm guessing that it's because of the city's proximity to all members of the local business community, whereas Fayetteville, eclectic as it is, is still at the area's southern end and farther away from most of the larger companies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt, just a thought but since PB2 and Benchmark (along with others, possibly) are based in Rogers I'm guessing that it's because of the city's proximity to all members of the local business community, whereas Fayetteville, eclectic as it is, is still at the area's southern end and farther away from most of the larger companies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Agreed. Most businesses that cater to the corporate environment of Rogers and Bentonville are located in Rogers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honestly my guess is that they're there because of chance and good real estate values. I don't think either one thought about moving Regional HQ to Rogers b/c of it's proximity to the metro. Each city in NWA has companies like PB2 and the Benchmark in their boundries. I think both probably did consider that Rogers was centrally located, but real estate & money were probably the key factors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


As much money as PB2 spent on their Home Office in Rogers I don't think they would've been more concerned with land prices over location.

I mean the corporate environment of Rogers (Pinnacle Hills) and Bentonville (Vendorville).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt...if the first Benton County Record article is correct in saying that the owner chose Rogers over Scottsdale, it means he chose NWA over Phoenix.

Now, there had to have been other concerns. But it's intriguing that if he thought he could make more money with his (admittedly somewhat unique) business here than in America's 13th largest metro area...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah E Fay Jones was born in Pine Bluff but spent most of his later life in Fayetteville. His old house is somewhere behind the Evelyn Hills shopping center. His widow still lives there.

I do think we could use some more of this. Rogers is a good location because it stays closer to all the Wal-mart money. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone forwarded the blogs about our new store, Abetica, so I thought I would join the discussion and add fuel to the debate.

When we looked for the first location for Abetica, our new modern design store in historic downtown Rogers, we conducted very extensive market research on a national basis, evaluating markets across the USA including Scottsdale (Arizona) - and many others. I won't bore everyone with the details of the study, but the prospects are very good for upscale retailing in Rogers - and Northwest Arkansas. I'm not alone in that conclusion, based on the exciting developments, venues, investments, and retailers moving into the area.

I told a friend back in my hometown of Long Beach, California yesterday that Rogers is exactly where Orange County was in 1967 when Henry Segerstrom plowed under his farm in Costa Mesa, California and built South Coast Plaza. Men and women of similar vision are shaping Rogers today.

We chose Northwest Arkansas over other geographies because the market for modern design is underserved across the region. Our research shows the region's retail trade area to be at least 400,000 but probably closer to 700,000 people. When combined with the socioeconomic, and lifestyle trends of the region and evolving design aesthetics on a national basis, there is a underserved need for authentic upscale modern design across the region.

I will admit that some of the manufacturers of upscale modern design that we are courting tell us that the consumers in Northwest Arkansas can be served effectively out of Dallas or Kansas City, and have turned down our requests to represent their lines. The smart ones, like Knoll and others have licensed Abetica to represent their products in our store.

My comment that downtown Rogers has a realistic opportunity to become the design center of Northwest Arkansas is based on our research and observation that "historic" downtown Rogers has all the elements to make it possible.

This includes a critical mass of interesting, high-potential, low-cost/affordable, and available commercial and retail space. There are hundreds of people employed in the neighborhood who work for/as interior designers, architects, graphic designers, creatives, photographers, retailers (like Abetica), and suppliers.

The geographic proximity to the 540 opens the trade area of downtown Rogers for "design" realistically to Ft. Smith, Tulsa, Kansas City, Springfield, as well as the local markets of Fayetteville, Beaver Lake, Eureka Springs, etc.

My discussions with neighborhood property owners confirm others agree with these observations. A number of people (and investors) are making short and long-term commitments to art, architecture, creative services, and design in historic downtown Rogers.

Belle Arti is a great place for lunch (try the pizza); the Design Center on Walnut at Arkansas Street includes some very impressive world-class lighting and kitchen designers; expect some exciting things to happen in the old vinegar factory on 2nd street currently being restored.

For those who want a case study for comparison, look to the Miami Design district for inspiration. While downtown Rogers is not without its challenges and empty store fronts, we're impressed with what we see and encourage others in the design community to look at what's happening.

Finally, thanks to the moderators for putting out some great information on Northwest Arkansas - it is very impressive - and allowing us to add to the discussion.

Dan Stiel

Abetica

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum dstiel. :D Glad you found us, thanks for the info. Hope you feel free to join in on the other topics as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This just adds to my fear that Rogers (more likely all of NWA) is heading toward "upscale" ruin. Drive out all the low to moderate income people in favor of wealthy people looking for "upscale" anything and NWA will cease to be the place that has attracted so many. If I want "upscale" anything and a more affordable place to live I'll just move back to St. Petersburg, FL that's not only cheaper to live, but offers everything under the sun that can't be found in NWA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I guess thinking about it, maybe "design center" is possible. I've met a lot more architects around here than anything else, and with influences from Wright and Jones and others (I don't know the who's who in architecture beyond that), the Crafts Fair, good architecture school, and Wal-mart for lower-end product positioning...

I also wouldn't hope we become so upscale. On one hand, I'm happy to hear about the modern furniture store, and this region being chosen somewhat for its viability in market reach. On the other end, I hate furniture prices and all of my furniture was either free or under $100. However, I still wouldn't ever consider buying furniture from Wal-mart. I want "urban planet" not "upscale planet".

I'm really happy to hear about the LEED building. I wish we could go back before we overbuilt the housing here and concentrate more on developing more progressing energy-saving houses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Add some more poultry and soil "science and research" I think we'll have good niches. That's as close to a technology sector as we maybe can get (and sustain).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess thinking about it, maybe "design center" is possible. I've met a lot more architects around here than anything else, and with influences from Wright and Jones and others (I don't know the who's who in architecture beyond that), the Crafts Fair, good architecture school, and Wal-mart for lower-end product positioning...

I also wouldn't hope we become so upscale. On one hand, I'm happy to hear about the modern furniture store, and this region being chosen somewhat for its viability in market reach. On the other end, I hate furniture prices and all of my furniture was either free or under $100. However, I still wouldn't ever consider buying furniture from Wal-mart. I want "urban planet" not "upscale planet".

I'm really happy to hear about the LEED building. I wish we could go back before we overbuilt the housing here and concentrate more on developing more progressing energy-saving houses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marlon Blackwell is another Fayetteville architect who seems to be getting more and more attention lately. I also think we'll see more LEED buildings in the future. It just makes sense as the cost of energy keeps going up. The Fayetteville Public Library recently got it's LEED silver certification.

They are niches but there are some other techs popping up at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park here in Fayetteville. One of them got a lot of attention last year for discovering a way to coat objects like knives so that they keep the sharpness much much longer. So I think there's room for other areas outside the poultry and soil areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guys--no matter what this furniture company guy says, Rogers will NOT become the design center for NWA. There is no way in Hell that will happen. Rogers is cheaper and centrally-located to all of us here and that's why he's putting his store there. He is saying what he wants the people in Rogers to believe because he has located his store there. That makes everyone like you. It's good business.

Fayetteville is and will remain the design center. This is where we have the school of architecture. This is where all the "good stuff" is done. It's where the property values are high enough to afford good design. There is so much more creative stuff being done here than anywhere else in our area it's not funny. Sure--Pinnacle Promenade is big development but it's not really great design or that unique. On the other hand, we have developments such as Ruskin Heights going in Fayetteville, as well as all the Dickson/Square projects, cool infill projects, University projects, etc. For every "creative type" living in Rogers, we have ten over here in Fayetteville. All of the top architects in this area live within a half mile radius of me here in Wilson Park, downtown, and Mt. Sequoyah. If Rogers was so cool and hip, they would all be over there. Throw in the reputation of Rogers as being much more politically-conservative and religious than Fayetteville, along with having absolutely no nightlife, and you just ran off the majority of design professionals. I know--I have worked in the design industry for 27 years!

And as far as new industries--don't forget nanotechnology and biodiesel!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the top architects in this area live within a half mile radius of me here in Wilson Park, downtown, and Mt. Sequoyah. If Rogers was so cool and hip, they would all be over there. Throw in the reputation of Rogers as being much more politically-conservative and religious than Fayetteville, along with having absolutely no nightlife, and you just ran off the majority of design professionals. I know--I have worked in the design industry for 27 years!

If you have worked in the "design" industry for 27 years, you know that all of the "top" architects

DO NOT live, or work for that matter, in Fayetteville.

Of the moment, gee whiz,prairie style wantabees,......... yes they are in Fayetteville.

Your statement solidifies all of Arkansas' perception of Fayetteville's elitist, academia minded, professional student,antagonist population.

Too bad the attitude is still prevalent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guys--no matter what this furniture company guy says, Rogers will NOT become the design center for NWA. There is no way in Hell that will happen. Rogers is cheaper and centrally-located to all of us here and that's why he's putting his store there. He is saying what he wants the people in Rogers to believe because he has located his store there. That makes everyone like you. It's good business.

Fayetteville is and will remain the design center. This is where we have the school of architecture. This is where all the "good stuff" is done. It's where the property values are high enough to afford good design. There is so much more creative stuff being done here than anywhere else in our area it's not funny. Sure--Pinnacle Promenade is big development but it's not really great design or that unique. On the other hand, we have developments such as Ruskin Heights going in Fayetteville, as well as all the Dickson/Square projects, cool infill projects, University projects, etc. For every "creative type" living in Rogers, we have ten over here in Fayetteville. All of the top architects in this area live within a half mile radius of me here in Wilson Park, downtown, and Mt. Sequoyah. If Rogers was so cool and hip, they would all be over there. Throw in the reputation of Rogers as being much more politically-conservative and religious than Fayetteville, along with having absolutely no nightlife, and you just ran off the majority of design professionals. I know--I have worked in the design industry for 27 years!

And as far as new industries--don't forget nanotechnology and biodiesel!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fayetteville has all the elements and probability of being where the designers are based in the near future, regardless of how cool Rogers or Fayetteville are. As of this point, I see no evidence or reason for Rogers to become a design center. Rogers is an attractive city with some attractive developments, but I don't see anything beyond that at this point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gang, Fayetteville is a beautiful city. It really is. It's also a wonderful college town. (IMO, much prettier than Columbia, MO where I attended the University of Missouri.)

It may have most of the architects in the state for all I know.

But it does NOT have many of the other NWA design companies of multiple stripes (i.e. advertising agencies, interactive design firms, architectural firms, product and packaging design companies, video production houses) that are making a name for themselves in their respective industries.

Heck, it doesn't even have the one (from what I'm aware of) branch of a worldwide advertising agency which NWA has (Saatchi & Saatchi - whose division is headquartered in Springdale).

SO WHAT if Rogers / Bentonville becomes a design center? Lots of the people who populate said "center" will be U of A graduates and won't forget their roots...but I'll bet they also won't be ashamed to hang their shingle in Rogers.

If Rogers becomes a design center how is that an insult to Fayetteville, which has things (including some remarkable physical beauty) Rogers will never have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.