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New Urbanist Development in North Bryant?

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Benton Courier - DPZ/Aaron Jones Development

DPZ is in town this week to put on a charette for a new "new urbanist" development in north Bryant. It will be off Springhill Rd near Hilltop Rd on an 190 acre site. DPZ is the same team that put together Ruskin Heights in Fayetteville and did work for Hendrix College in Conway. That are most well-known for their Seaside, FL development that was featured in "The Trumann Show." The development will incoporate many of the new urbanist ideals such as walkability and it should be fairly self-contained providing local commercial and potentially schools or eventually a town hall. They will have a final presentation on Tuesday night at Bethel Middle School in Bryant on Northlake off Springhill Rd.

Personally, though I like the ideals of new urbanism, I see this project ending up as a piece of high-priced, dressed up sprawl due to it being placed in a largely rural or sub-suburban undeveloped area.

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Benton Courier - DPZ/Aaron Jones Development

DPZ is in town this week to put on a charette for a new "new urbanist" development in north Bryant. It will be off Springhill Rd near Hilltop Rd on an 190 acre site. DPZ is the same team that put together Ruskin Heights in Fayetteville and did work for Hendrix College in Conway. That are most well-known for their Seaside, FL development that was featured in "The Trumann Show." The development will incoporate many of the new urbanist ideals such as walkability and it should be fairly self-contained providing local commercial and potentially schools or eventually a town hall. They will have a final presentation on Tuesday night at Bethel Middle School in Bryant on Northlake off Springhill Rd.

Personally, though I like the ideals of new urbanism, I see this project ending up as a piece of high-priced, dressed up sprawl due to it being placed in a largely rural or sub-suburban undeveloped area.

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Benton Courier - DPZ/Aaron Jones Development

DPZ is in town this week to put on a charette for a new "new urbanist" development in north Bryant. It will be off Springhill Rd near Hilltop Rd on an 190 acre site. DPZ is the same team that put together Ruskin Heights in Fayetteville and did work for Hendrix College in Conway. That are most well-known for their Seaside, FL development that was featured in "The Trumann Show." The development will incoporate many of the new urbanist ideals such as walkability and it should be fairly self-contained providing local commercial and potentially schools or eventually a town hall. They will have a final presentation on Tuesday night at Bethel Middle School in Bryant on Northlake off Springhill Rd.

Personally, though I like the ideals of new urbanism, I see this project ending up as a piece of high-priced, dressed up sprawl due to it being placed in a largely rural or sub-suburban undeveloped area.

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I like the project even though I have to rationalize it. Growth is coming to Bryant and Saline County whether anyone wants it or not. With this type of development there is at least hope that it won't be as big of a strain on the infrastructure.

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I do like the idea of having a community nearby that could be another Hillcrest or Eureka Springs, or even what downtown Benton used to be. Like ya'll (hey, I'm an Arkie, what? I can say ya'll), I'm at least a small percentage dubious about its success.

One thing I'd like to know is how eager they think SBC/AT&T will be to run broadband capable lines out there, given how slow they've been to come to Benton. But then, Benton's lines are having to be replaced, so I suppose a brand new service would be easier.

Next up, will my XM radio work there? Ya gotta have that southern exposure, or no signal - I mean NO signal.

Schools are also an issue. If it's north of Hilltop Road, that's not a terrible drive to Bethel Middle School, but it's a good distance from the high school in south Bryant, and not a skip to elementary schools either.

The company that's planning the community, DPZ, has a website, dpz.com - where they show all sorts of pictures of their different communities that are either finished or in the works. I haven't looked at every picture, but I see that a popular theme is water. You and I know there's no beach in Bryant. The water that is there (by looking at Google maps) doesn't strike me as the sparkling tourist attraction conveyed in DPZ's promotional shots. So do they have some way of taking the existing water and getting it "purtied up?" Or do they just pick a spot and make build a lake?

Location: This plot of land backs up to Lawson Road and lays a tweak west of Stagecoach Road. How much accessibility is enough but not too much? How will this affect the current fire and police service? Salem and Springhill FDs are already volunteer. How will residents in the Springhill and Salem area feel about being outside the city limits when this new neighborhood will be in the city? How difficult will it be to get water, gas and electricity to the area, and who will provide it?

Oh, I've probably got a few more questions, but if these are answered satisfactorily - and I'm sure DPZ is already thinking about all of this - I'll be excited for whomever might choose to live there. I'd also be happy to have another great place to shop for antiques and boutique items, artsy-shmartsy shtuff and cappuccino, and have a neat place just to walk around or bike around or rickshaw around or surrey around...

Shelli

BentOnBenton.com

SalineCounty.ning.com

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Well, I don't see it as a Hillcrest or Eureka, which can't be recreated these days.

Bryant is pure suburb, like Sherwood and Maumelle it was created by residential demand and wasn't really ever a significant town on its own. Towns like that are perfect for these "town center" new urbanist developments because they lack traditional downtowns. This has become all of the rage in suburban Texas, Florida, etc. Hopefully this will become an area Bryant identifies with, the place the high school has victory parades and the 4th of July fireworks are launched.

Of course the details haven't really been addressed at all yet. Hopefully we get those soon.

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I like DPZ's work, and I'm glad this is happening, but I find it disappointing that this isn't happening in Pulaski County. I realize that its difficult to find the room/area to develop something of the scale required to make critical mass in more mature urban areas, but I'm just surprised that a Little Rock developer wouldn't tap a more lucrative, arguably more sophisticated market.

All that said, I do hope this goes well and certainly this is a better alternative to what is most often developed in Saline County.

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DPZ is also developing that big project at Hendrix College. I was impressed with their renderings and tenacity on that project so I have no doubts that this project will be done witht he same fervency.

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I like DPZ's work, and I'm glad this is happening, but I find it disappointing that this isn't happening in Pulaski County. I realize that its difficult to find the room/area to develop something of the scale required to make critical mass in more mature urban areas, but I'm just surprised that a Little Rock developer wouldn't tap a more lucrative, arguably more sophisticated market.

All that said, I do hope this goes well and certainly this is a better alternative to what is most often developed in Saline County.

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Just curious, where would you find 190 acres in Pulaski County desirable for this? Now, I have to say, 190 acres doesn't make for a very large location, but I'm just not sure where something like this fits in LR/NLR.

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Most of Pulaski Co is still undeveloped, there are plenty of rural areas left in the county.

I'm not sure where something like this would fit outside of far west LR or the new I-440 corridor or en route to Scott from NLR.

That said, there is a "new urbanist" development going in just northwest of downtown NLR but I believe it was going to be much smaller. Architect may know better than I but I don't believe they have chosen their architects/developers.

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The Midtown Bryant development had its groundbreaking earlier this week. Despite the many rumors about Aaron Jones this development seems to be pushing ahead.

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