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Sammy00

Little Rock Growth

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I'm originally from Benton, but for the last 3 years, I've lived here in Fayetteville.

I sat back watched Little Rock creep along for years, however, there seems to be some serious stuff going on right now. Lots of job creation, improved roads, more shopping centers, new and exciting stores, more flights (maybe even international) to LIT, etc...

At the same time, I haven't been a member on the board for a long.

So maybe I was just missing all of the ongoings before.

Is Little Rock really revving its engine?

Does anyone expect a big jump in the 2010 census?

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I'm originally from Benton, but for the last 3 years, I've lived here in Fayetteville.

I sat back watched Little Rock creep along for years, however, there seems to be some serious stuff going on right now. Lots of job creation, improved roads, more shopping centers, new and exciting stores, more flights (maybe even international) to LIT, etc...

At the same time, I haven't been a member on the board for a long.

So maybe I was just missing all of the ongoings before.

Is Little Rock really revving its engine?

Does anyone expect a big jump in the 2010 census?

Sammy - thanks for your observations. My take would be that what we are witnessing is primarily an uptick in development sophistication and a general upgrade in offerings that is generally independent of whatever population gains are being realized. In other words, I do think that the population growth is on an upswing (data even shows growth in Little Rock proper and Pulaski County overall, which is unusual for typical southern markets of typical size) - more so even than in recent years, but it is not as rapid as NWA or other fast-growth markets. Certainly, the overall metro growth will likely exceed 13%-14% from 2000-2010, which is respectable for a mature market. Hopefully it will top the 700,000 mark by that time.

An additional observation though - the added benefit of more sophisticated developments certainly can and should help fuel more growth. Perhaps it really is an indicator of Little Rock's potential take-off!

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Thanks Architect.

It's exciting and hopefully it will continue for quite some time.

I always thought Little Rock was on the verge of really being something...

Seems like it might be on its way.

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I'm originally from Benton, but for the last 3 years, I've lived here in Fayetteville.

I sat back watched Little Rock creep along for years, however, there seems to be some serious stuff going on right now. Lots of job creation, improved roads, more shopping centers, new and exciting stores, more flights (maybe even international) to LIT, etc...

At the same time, I haven't been a member on the board for a long.

So maybe I was just missing all of the ongoings before.

Is Little Rock really revving its engine?

Does anyone expect a big jump in the 2010 census?

The timing of things lately is interesting, it seems like a real boom. I think the bulk of this we could've seen coming, though.

The economic boom I think is a product of the ADEC finally deciding to leave Marion alone for a while and concentrate on the rest of the state. I always thought the port of Little Rock was the state's prime industrial site in terms of potential as did nearly everyone I knew. It has a large, relatively educated population within a reasonable distance and an airport, rail, and river port as well as interstate access readily available. It's minutes from downtown LR. It's an easy sell.

However, I do think part of this foundation was laid over the last decade with the redevelopment of downtown LR. When potential employers or developers come to LR they stay downtown and the difference between a decade ago and today is amazing. For a city this size and with this cost of living we have a very impressive downtown in nearly every possible way. More can be done, sure, but things have come a long way.

The retail development could've occurred long ago, everything was put on hold by Simon and its quest to built a megamall in West LR off of I-430. All other major retail development was on hold until Simon and LR made up their minds. When the Summit Mall fell apart as the city became irritated with Simon a few years ago it opened up all of the current retail development. These sites were all slated for these projects for years but everyone knew they couldn't compete with Simon and Summit Mall.

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I for one am very happy that the mall fell through. Park Plaza would have died in less than a year, there would be no proamanade, no midtown, no plesent ridge.. etc. I think the University Site is ripe for redevelopment into something way better than it is now. I was looking at the land site, and there are alot of empty structures. I personaly think a Multi use structure would be really really cool. some Living, some shopping and some offices. I wish that Hilton would have built them a new hotel because the one they have now, while very nice, is small and kinda pathetic.

I think LR is on the right path. They(the city) has finally realized the potential of the LR port. The City, while is still spraling, Is redeveloping many older city Neighborhoods. Downtown is going in the right direction. Now, if we could only get the 630/430 cluster Fu*K fixed, life would be much better. And for good sakes, please bring in a macy's. If Dillards even gave a damn, they would pull there crap together and try to compete.

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I always find it fascinating to read the reports on Metroplan's website. This report is no exception:

http://www.metroplan.org/!Userfiles/pd...7DemR&O.pdf

Significant points:

1 - Metroplan estimates the 2007 population of the 6-county MSA as exceeding 680,000

2 - Metroplan expects the 2010 MSA population to exceed 700,000

3 - The official MSA title is now "Little Rock - North Little Rock - Conway MSA" - recognizing Conway as a "principal city" (exceeding 50,000)

4 - Little Rock has added 5,800 people since 2000

5 - Pulaski County has added over 17,000 people since 2,000 (compare this with Faulkner's 20,000, and Saline's 19,335) totaling 379,000

6 - NLR is now growing, thanks to the rapid expansion east along the river with significant housing developments toward Scott

7 - The MSA is growing at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent

8 - Interesting population breakdown of Pulaski County: 162,730 north of the river, 215,761 south of the river

9 - Total percentage growth of the MSA in the seven years is just over 10% (not sure how this calculates out over 10 years)

Little Rock.....188,959 (+5,826)

NLR................60,733 (+300)

Conway..........55,935 (+12,768)

Benton...........27,985 (+6,079)

Cabot.............22,281 (+7,020)

Maumelle.......15,619 (+5,062)

Bryant...........14,535 (+4,771)

Pretty solid numbers all-in-all.

Comments?

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I always find it fascinating to read the reports on Metroplan's website. This report is no exception:

http://www.metroplan.org/!Userfiles/pd...7DemR&O.pdf

Significant points:

1 - Metroplan estimates the 2007 population of the 6-county MSA as exceeding 680,000

2 - Metroplan expects the 2010 MSA population to exceed 700,000

3 - The official MSA title is now "Little Rock - North Little Rock - Conway MSA" - recognizing Conway as a "principal city" (exceeding 50,000)

4 - Little Rock has added 5,800 people since 2000

5 - Pulaski County has added over 17,000 people since 2,000 (compare this with Faulkner's 20,000, and Saline's 19,335) totaling 379,000

6 - NLR is now growing, thanks to the rapid expansion east along the river with significant housing developments toward Scott

7 - The MSA is growing at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent

8 - Interesting population breakdown of Pulaski County: 162,730 north of the river, 215,761 south of the river

9 - Total percentage growth of the MSA in the seven years is just over 10% (not sure how this calculates out over 10 years)

Little Rock.....188,959 (+5,826)

NLR................60,733 (+300)

Conway..........55,935 (+12,768)

Benton...........27,985 (+6,079)

Cabot.............22,281 (+7,020)

Maumelle.......15,619 (+5,062)

Bryant...........14,535 (+4,771)

Pretty solid numbers all-in-all.

Comments?

Solid numbers but I expect a ramp up over the next 5 years because of the Fayetteville Shake and the multiple companies coming to the LR port. In general, though, I think morale is up because of less crime and a bustling downtown.

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I always find it fascinating to read the reports on Metroplan's website. This report is no exception:

I forget to visit some sites, which is why I like UP.

The MSA is growing at an annualized rate of 1.6 percent

1.6 annualized population growth is terrific. Over 700K by 2010. About 800K by 2018.

The 2010 census is right around the corner!

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Any actual growth in the central city is great for a city the size and maturity of LR.

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NLR................60,733 (+300)

Conway..........55,935 (+12,768)

I'm guessing that by the 2010 census, Conway will have surpassed NLR. Will this make it the state's third largest city behind LR and FS?

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I'm guessing that by the 2010 census, Conway will have surpassed NLR. Will this make it the state's third largest city behind LR and FS?

No, Fayetteville and Springdale are both larger. Perhaps Jonesboro is now, too.

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I'm guessing that by the 2010 census, Conway will have surpassed NLR. Will this make it the state's third largest city behind LR and FS?

I am not sure Conway will add 5k more in 2 years. They are struggling from many problems NWA is - infrastructure and sprawl, and although they do have somewhat of a sustainable economy, much of their growth has been fueled by LR commuters. Fayetteville is poised to become officially the 3rd largest city in 2010.

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No, Fayetteville and Springdale are both larger. Perhaps Jonesboro is now, too.

Yeah latest estimates I've seen has Jonesboro closer to 60,000. So Conway has a way to go before it can start thinking about being the third biggest city in Arkansas.

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Yeah latest estimates I've seen has Jonesboro closer to 60,000. So Conway has a way to go before it can start thinking about being the third biggest city in Arkansas.

Conway seems to be growing faster, largely because NWA's growth has shifted to Benton Co. I think infrastructure problems will quickly slow Conways growth.

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Conway seems to be growing faster, largely because NWA's growth has shifted to Benton Co. I think infrastructure problems will quickly slow Conways growth.

I-40 is a nightmare during rush hour from Little Rock to Conway; it defintately should have been widened to 6 lanes. Nonetheless, I can't see how people, especially newcomers, will be able to justify that commute with $5 gas on the horizon with talks of $7 by year end. Even if Conway doesn't decline, I think the days of rapid growth fueled by Little Rock commuters will be coming to an end very soon.

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Conway is likely to be Arkansas's sixth largest city by 2010, unless it catches and surpasses Jonesboro. The development of new streets around the city, including a highly-anticipated bypass, can aid some of Conway's internal traffic congestion, which has grown in tandem with the congestion along Interstate 40 toward Little Rock. Conway is also now the largest city in the state without a public bus service, something which could also alleviate congestion and gain some funds from exploration of the Fayetteville Shale Play.

In the long term, Conway seems appropriate for a spur of a Little Rock-based commuter rail network, maybe with additional spurs having terminals in Bryant, Cabot and even Sheridan. Building the infrastructure would be no small or inexpensive task, but the cost of operation may be attractive if freight rail transportation is any guide. Unfortunately, the entire metro area may have to gain as much as another 100,000 residents before that even becomes a serious consideration.

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I-40 is a nightmare during rush hour from Little Rock to Conway; it defintately should have been widened to 6 lanes. Nonetheless, I can't see how people, especially newcomers, will be able to justify that commute with $5 gas on the horizon with talks of $7 by year end. Even if Conway doesn't decline, I think the days of rapid growth fueled by Little Rock commuters will be coming to an end very soon.

This may be the biggest driver/stabilizer of growth in LR for the next few years. Many commuters are going to rethink the cost and sacrifices associated with living 25-35+ miles away from their job. Maybe they'll change jobs, go to 4 day work weeks or telecommute, but clearly this is going to be a big factor.

If the leadership of LR can convince people from the suburbs that LR is safe and has adequate school choices, just watch the influx of people moving back.

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Conway is likely to be Arkansas's sixth largest city by 2010, unless it catches and surpasses Jonesboro. The development of new streets around the city, including a highly-anticipated bypass, can aid some of Conway's internal traffic congestion, which has grown in tandem with the congestion along Interstate 40 toward Little Rock. Conway is also now the largest city in the state without a public bus service, something which could also alleviate congestion and gain some funds from exploration of the Fayetteville Shale Play.

In the long term, Conway seems appropriate for a spur of a Little Rock-based commuter rail network, maybe with additional spurs having terminals in Bryant, Cabot and even Sheridan. Building the infrastructure would be no small or inexpensive task, but the cost of operation may be attractive if freight rail transportation is any guide. Unfortunately, the entire metro area may have to gain as much as another 100,000 residents before that even becomes a serious consideration.

I think Saline County would be first to get rail service along the old Rock Island right-a-way. The number of daily commuters from Saline in 2000 was twice that of Faulkner and also ahead of Lonoke County. Faulkner has fewer commuters than both Saline and Lonoke. Conway is providing local jobs at a greater degree than what is found in Saline and Lonoke.

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This may be the biggest driver/stabilizer of growth in LR for the next few years. Many commuters are going to rethink the cost and sacrifices associated with living 25-35+ miles away from their job. Maybe they'll change jobs, go to 4 day work weeks or telecommute, but clearly this is going to be a big factor.

If the leadership of LR can convince people from the suburbs that LR is safe and has adequate school choices, just watch the influx of people moving back.

Even if LR itself doesn't, I have a feeling the Pulaski Co schools will - especially Maumelle and Robinson (West Pulaski).

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I agree that Saline County will probably get the first light rail extension, when and if it ever happens. The economy of Saline County has long seemed far more reliant on what happens in Little Rock than that of Faulkner County. I grew up just over the county line from a very rural part of Faulkner County (just east of Mount Vernon), where agriculture is important. Faulkner County also benefits somewhat in the fact its freeway

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I agree that Saline County will probably get the first light rail extension, when and if it ever happens. The economy of Saline County has long seemed far more reliant on what happens in Little Rock than that of Faulkner County. I grew up just over the county line from a very rural part of Faulkner County (just east of Mount Vernon), where agriculture is important. Faulkner County also benefits somewhat in the fact its freeway

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Maybe then, the Conway-Mayflower-Maumelle line would follow I-430 from near Southwest Hospital in the south (at a Mabelvale transfer station also picking up the Saline County line), up to and along Highway 365 once in Morgan, with its north terminal along East Dave Ward Drive in Conway.

The Cabot-Jacksonville line seems like it will be harder to configure, especially if there's intent to establish its terminal closer to the intersection of Highway 89 and Bill Foster/321, which would benefit Lonoke and central Lonoke County.

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Light rail in Central Arkansas is decades away. By then there will be significant demographic shifts that will change all of this.

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Light rail in Central Arkansas is decades away. By then there will be significant demographic shifts that will change all of this.

Unfortunately I'm sure you're right. We can dream though...

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I think Saline County would be first to get rail service along the old Rock Island right-a-way. The number of daily commuters from Saline in 2000 was twice that of Faulkner and also ahead of Lonoke County. Faulkner has fewer commuters than both Saline and Lonoke. Conway is providing local jobs at a greater degree than what is found in Saline and Lonoke.

Everything I've read from Metroplan seems to indicate Saline County may be at least 2nd or 3rd in line. The primary corridor they've indentified is 67/167 up to near Jacksonville. Densities are higher in that area than in Benton and Bryant especially along that corridor. Here's a map http://www.salinecounty.org/rock_island_row_graphic.pdf

Seems I read recently Judge Fite in Saline County is wanting to put a two-lane road in that ROW that would eventually be widened to 4 lanes.

The area where the ROW is has largely been developed in a pattern that is very characteristically rural.

Edited by hogwash

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