Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Sammy00

Little Rock Growth

Recommended Posts

Having lived in both places I prefer LR over Jackson. I think one of the major points holding them both back is a lack of a major university. But one thing I can say about Jackson is you can't discount the charm of Jackson's southern women.

I don't know a thing about Jackson and couldn't care less about it. I do know something about Little Rock and don't understand your point about "lack of a major university" holding Little Rock back. Granted that UALR isn't a Duke or a Rice but it contributes a lot to the city as does UAMS. The major thing hindering Little Rock is lack of focused, dynamic political leadership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


However, to say Little Rock is better than Jackson even just a little bit isn't really saying much. Both Little Rock and Jackson are among the most undesirable places to live in the entire country, and the economy here really suffers because of it.

Probably the dumbest thing I've read on this board.

If you really believe that about Little Rock, you HAVE to get out more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the misconceptions may be related to crime statistics which, according to one national survey, have LR listed as one of the 10 most dangerous places to live . I believe LR was ranked 5th or 6th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know a thing about Jackson and couldn't care less about it. I do know something about Little Rock and don't understand your point about "lack of a major university" holding Little Rock back. Granted that UALR isn't a Duke or a Rice but it contributes a lot to the city as does UAMS. The major thing hindering Little Rock is lack of focused, dynamic political leadership.

I agree with you that that LR lacks a " focused, dynamic political leadership." This very fact probably has something to do with the fact that the city lacks a major university. I am not saying anything is wrong with UALR but it could easily be twice the size and therefore make a more dynamic impact on the city. Just think if UALR had five to ten thousand students living on campus and the University District was a reality not something on paper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't necessarily directed at you but this post made me think of shopping.

To me Active Downtown/Restuarant Scene>>>>>Shopping. I can get online and buy anything from any store I choose. In fact I buy nearly everything online now except for pants and some shirts. Most things are cheaper online and always have what you need in stock. Why should I care if we have a Macy's or Apple? Other than the status of having these brick and mortar stores in your city I don't see how having them actually makes a city better at least in my eyes. I haven't been to Jackson in a few years but if all they have on LR is some extra stores we don't have then to me there is no contest between the two. Sure, having cool stores is nice but give me a cool downtown and cool restaurants over that anyday.

Are there advantages of having B&M stores that I am missing? I am sure there are.

This largely depends on the demographic you are talking about but I do agree that having an active downtown > good shopping. That said, the lack of quality retail in Little Rock projects a bad image to transplants. Plus, most transplants I know make weekend trips to Memphis or Dallas to shop at the kind of places they are used to having where they are from, or just order online. Its difficult for people used to Nordstroms and Saks to downgrade to JC Penney and Kohl's.

What Little Rock really needs however more than Macy's is some first rate attractions other than the Clinton library. Everything else in Little Rock seems somewhat half-a$$ed and we can do much better than that. Lets start by improving the zoo.

Probably the dumbest thing I've read on this board.

If you really believe that about Little Rock, you HAVE to get out more.

Little Rock is PERCEIVED to be undesirable, especially by people from big cities. Because of the high crime rate, Little Rock just doesn't appeal to people wishing to escape the big city and its problems like NWA does.

Edited by bchris02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This largely depends on the demographic you are talking about but I do agree that having an active downtown > good shopping. That said, the lack of quality retail in Little Rock projects a bad image to transplants. Plus, most transplants I know make weekend trips to Memphis or Dallas to shop at the kind of places they are used to having where they are from, or just order online. Its difficult for people used to Nordstroms and Saks to downgrade to JC Penney and Kohl's.

What Little Rock really needs however more than Macy's is some first rate attractions other than the Clinton library. Everything else in Little Rock seems somewhat half-a$$ed and we can do much better than that. Lets start by improving the zoo.

Little Rock is PERCEIVED to be undesirable, especially by people from big cities. Because of the high crime rate, Little Rock just doesn't appeal to people wishing to escape the big city and its problems like NWA does.

Nice hedge.

You said nothing about perception. You said it was one of the most undesirable places to live in the entire country, which is completely beyond ignorant (and makes me think you haven't gotten outside of the 4 walls of your domicile much).

Little Rock isn't Dallas. To compare it to Dallas is the height of stupidity. It is what it is: a great mid-sized southern city, that people who have been around a bit can recognize for the great place to live that it is. It's never going to be NYC, CHI, ATL, or anywhere else like that. And if it is, I'll quit listing it as a place I hope to settle down one day.

I agree with you that that LR lacks a " focused, dynamic political leadership." This very fact probably has something to do with the fact that the city lacks a major university. I am not saying anything is wrong with UALR but it could easily be twice the size and therefore make a more dynamic impact on the city. Just think if UALR had five to ten thousand students living on campus and the University District was a reality not something on paper.

I don't know of a city in the world that has a "focused, dynamic politcal leadership."

Politicians, by definition, screw things up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice hedge.

You said nothing about perception. You said it was one of the most undesirable places to live in the entire country, which is completely beyond ignorant (and makes me think you haven't gotten outside of the 4 walls of your domicile much).

Like it or not, perception IS reality. Find anybody who has had little or no exposure to Little Rock and you'll see their perception is overwhelmingly negative, mostly due to things such as the Central High crisis and documentaries like Bangin in Little Rock, as well as Arkansas stereotypes as whole. That said, knowing this area pretty well I can think of many places that are much worse places to live than Little Rock. I can think of many places that are much better as well. I am interested to see how things play out here after the fallout from the Verizon buyout settles.

Little Rock isn't Dallas. To compare it to Dallas is the height of stupidity. It is what it is: a great mid-sized southern city, that people who have been around a bit can recognize for the great place to live that it is. It's never going to be NYC, CHI, ATL, or anywhere else like that. And if it is, I'll quit listing it as a place I hope to settle down one day.

Little Rock will never be NYC, CHI, ATL, but it could be an OKC or Charlotte one day.

I don't know of a city in the world that has a "focused, dynamic politcal leadership."

Politicians, by definition, screw things up.

Politicians are usually more interested in fattening their wallets than the good of the community and people they supposedly represent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like it or not, perception IS reality. Find anybody who has had little or no exposure to Little Rock and you'll see their perception is overwhelmingly negative, mostly due to things such as the Central High crisis and documentaries like Bangin in Little Rock, as well as Arkansas stereotypes as whole. That said, knowing this area pretty well I can think of many places that are much worse places to live than Little Rock. I can think of many places that are much better as well. I am interested to see how things play out here after the fallout from the Verizon buyout settles.

Little Rock will never be NYC, CHI, ATL, but it could be an OKC or Charlotte one day.

Politicians are usually more interested in fattening their wallets than the good of the community and people they supposedly represent.

bchris02,

I think we would all agree with your general sentiment that perception is a problem, AND that perception is reality to those with the perception. However, I really doubt - though I have no data to support - that perception of Little Rock is really any worse that most other mid-size, southern U.S. cities (I think they all suffer a certain stigma from larger markets and/or other parts of the U.S.). And, I seriously doubt that it has anything to do with Bangin in Little Rock (seriously, who remembers that? that was like 15 years ago), and CERTAINLY not the Central High crises. Sheesh...that was 50 freakin' years ago!*

All that being said, perceptions aside, I think Little Rock does have the potential - as you stated - to become the next up-and-coming place...Nashville, OKC, etc...certainly more so than our immediate, similar sized neighbors.

* Note: I don't think the history of Central High crises has any bearing on peoples current perceptions of Little Rock, but I wholeheartedly believe that it had a tremendous, negative impact on the city at the time and altered it's course permanently, certainly setting us back decades. There are many experts who note that Little Rock was growing rapidly at the time - known as a progressive city - and had that event not happened, that we most certainly would have become one of the rising stars in the south...the next Nashville if you will. Unfortunate....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bchris02,

I think we would all agree with your general sentiment that perception is a problem, AND that perception is reality to those with the perception. However, I really doubt - though I have no data to support - that perception of Little Rock is really any worse that most other mid-size, southern U.S. cities (I think they all suffer a certain stigma from larger markets and/or other parts of the U.S.). And, I seriously doubt that it has anything to do with Bangin in Little Rock (seriously, who remembers that? that was like 15 years ago), and CERTAINLY not the Central High crises. Sheesh...that was 50 freakin' years ago!*

All that being said, perceptions aside, I think Little Rock does have the potential - as you stated - to become the next up-and-coming place...Nashville, OKC, etc...certainly more so than our immediate, similar sized neighbors.

* Note: I don't think the history of Central High crises has any bearing on peoples current perceptions of Little Rock, but I wholeheartedly believe that it had a tremendous, negative impact on the city at the time and altered it's course permanently, certainly setting us back decades. There are many experts who note that Little Rock was growing rapidly at the time - known as a progressive city - and had that event not happened, that we most certainly would have become one of the rising stars in the south...the next Nashville if you will. Unfortunate....

Perception vs reality. It all crashes down for those people that visit Little Rock. In virtually every case, those that come here are very pleasantly surprised by what they find. Having spent a great deal of time out of Arkansas, I'm fully aware of the perception that Arkansas is a state where education suffers and poverty is high. Little Rock, being the capitol city, inherits that perception. Those that actually visit Little Rock almost invariably come away with a different feeling. There's not a lot that one can do to fight "perception" that's inaccurate other than continue to improve.

I find it interesting that people often suggest that Little Rock needs more entertainment choices/development beyond the Clinton Library. While I certainly wouldn't mind having them, I'm curious as to who would build this magical something and why? There just aren't that many people here to support numerous entertainment venues. Perhaps one day, Heifer's center will also offer some great alternatives and I would also love to see the zoo gain sponsorship and really take off rather than struggle for funding as it has for years. But unless the population here changes dramatically, it's hard to see large scale entertainment developments being profitable.

But hey, this thread is about Promenade, so let me say that I had lunch over at Yia Yias the other day and enjoyed it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since we veered way off-topic on the growth/perception/potential discussion in the Chenal Promenade topic, I thought I'd relocate these to a more appropriate post...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being from Springfield, I can tell you that the perception of Little Rock up here is not anywhere near as bad as what some are painting it as. Yes, we all know that there is a big problem with crime, but Springfield isn't doin too great either. My friends and I have visited Little Rock many times and we all enjoyed our trips. My friend went to a concert at Riverfest and had a blast. The only criticism she had about downtown Little Rock was the lack of bar choice. I myself love Downtown Little Rock, but I can't say much about the rest of the city as I haven't seen it. I do agree that Little Rock is missing the young population a little bit, but that will come as downtown/river market grows. It would also be great if the University of Little Rock was present as well. LOL If anyone thinks Little Rock government has problems they should come take a visit to Springfield. With four colleges in or next to downtown Springfield we should be better off than we are. Granted a lot has changed in our downtown for the better, but unless you are a college kid living in a loft, who likes to bar hop and go to the occasional art walk, then you probably wont like downtown Springfield.

All I know is that Little Rock is a great city and is really starting to come into its own. BTW the concerts the city manages to bring to Little Rock is very impressive! And on a constant basis!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being from Springfield, I can tell you that the perception of Little Rock up here is not anywhere near as bad as what some are painting it as. Yes, we all know that there is a big problem with crime, but Springfield isn't doin too great either. My friends and I have visited Little Rock many times and we all enjoyed our trips. My friend went to a concert at Riverfest and had a blast. The only criticism she had about downtown Little Rock was the lack of bar choice. I myself love Downtown Little Rock, but I can't say much about the rest of the city as I haven't seen it. I do agree that Little Rock is missing the young population a little bit, but that will come as downtown/river market grows. It would also be great if the University of Little Rock was present as well. LOL If anyone thinks Little Rock government has problems they should come take a visit to Springfield. With four colleges in or next to downtown Springfield we should be better off than we are. Granted a lot has changed in our downtown for the better, but unless you are a college kid living in a loft, who likes to bar hop and go to the occasional art walk, then you probably wont like downtown Springfield.

All I know is that Little Rock is a great city and is really starting to come into its own. BTW the concerts the city manages to bring to Little Rock is very impressive! And on a constant basis!

Slyder - thanks for the nice, outside perspective! I know Springfield is a great place with a very good reputation...thanks for always taking time to dip down and contribute to our Arkansas forums!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So why are we comparing Little Rock to larger cities again??? I'm originally from Benton, but now live in Houston. Granted, there are many advantages to living in a bigger city, but NOTHING in Houston, Dallas or San Antonio is going to compare to the natural beauty that Little Rock metros have. Someone said there's "nothing to do in Little Rock" besides the Clinton library... get a bicycle, hike up Pinnacle mountain, go rafting, or spend a nice evening in the River Market. Bored after doing all that??? Go to Hot Springs!!!! I mean come on... we're talking a small/mid-sized metro here. And IMO, for its size Little Rock is one of the best in the US. And it's nice that people are finally starting to discover it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So why are we comparing Little Rock to larger cities again??? I'm originally from Benton, but now live in Houston. Granted, there are many advantages to living in a bigger city, but NOTHING in Houston, Dallas or San Antonio is going to compare to the natural beauty that Little Rock metros have. Someone said there's "nothing to do in Little Rock" besides the Clinton library... get a bicycle, hike up Pinnacle mountain, go rafting, or spend a nice evening in the River Market. Bored after doing all that??? Go to Hot Springs!!!! I mean come on... we're talking a small/mid-sized metro here. And IMO, for its size Little Rock is one of the best in the US. And it's nice that people are finally starting to discover it.

BTW, did you see this article, ranking LR's economy 7th best in the nation? That's what happens when your growth is slow and steady and not subject to huge swings up and down. One more benefit we have over many cities, although Texas had numerous cities ranked highly.

http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Business/262220/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, did you see this article, ranking LR's economy 7th best in the nation? That's what happens when your growth is slow and steady and not subject to huge swings up and down. One more benefit we have over many cities, although Texas had numerous cities ranked highly.

http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Business/262220/

I am really surprised Little Rock's economy is 7th in the nation with the deluge of layoffs and closings hitting our area lately. That really says something about the economy in the rest of the country if we really are 7th best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am really surprised Little Rock's economy is 7th in the nation with the deluge of layoffs and closings hitting our area lately. That really says something about the economy in the rest of the country if we really are 7th best.

What deluge of layoffs? Like the study stated, Little Rock's change in employment was SECOND BEST in the nation!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bchris sounds as if he does not travel much and is fairly isolated in terms of perspective. My experience with people traveling from my company from out of state into little rock is that they are very impressed and their expectations were exceeded by the city. My advice to bchris is to travel more and gain a better perspective...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, did you see this article, ranking LR's economy 7th best in the nation? That's what happens when your growth is slow and steady and not subject to huge swings up and down. One more benefit we have over many cities, although Texas had numerous cities ranked highly.

http://www.nwanews.com/adg/Business/262220/

Yep, other than Oklahoma City, Texas had all of the other metros ahead of us. I didn't see the report linked in the article so I went and found it.

Here is the full report for those interested. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/...etromonitor.pdf

Here is the article on the Brookings Institutes webpage.

http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2009/06_metro_monitor.aspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am really surprised Little Rock's economy is 7th in the nation with the deluge of layoffs and closings hitting our area lately. That really says something about the economy in the rest of the country if we really are 7th best.

Unemployment is closing in on 10% nationally and a little over HALF that in LR. LR has certainly had some bad news as well, just not on the same scale as elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bchris sounds as if he does not travel much and is fairly isolated in terms of perspective. My experience with people traveling from my company from out of state into little rock is that they are very impressed and their expectations were exceeded by the city. My advice to bchris is to travel more and gain a better perspective...

No, I've been around a lot and seen many different places. Aside from the already discussed lack of retail options, I can agree that Little Rock is a lot better than most SOUTHERN small cities, but I am personally looking for more of an urban experience. The only small cities that have achieved this in my opinion are up north, such as Des Moines and Providence, RI. I am part of a demographic that isn't well liked in the rural South, and Little Rock still feels very rural and "old South" in culture, so my perspective may be a little skewed by that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I've been around a lot and seen many different places. Aside from the already discussed lack of retail options, I can agree that Little Rock is a lot better than most SOUTHERN small cities, but I am personally looking for more of an urban experience. The only small cities that have achieved this in my opinion are up north, such as Des Moines and Providence, RI. I am part of a demographic that isn't well liked in the rural South, and Little Rock still feels very rural and "old South" in culture, so my perspective may be a little skewed by that.

I've been to Des Moines several times, and have lauded it on numerous occasions for its urbanity, density, etc. That being said, it doesn't have anything on Little Rock...LR holds its own in comparison to Des Moines (save for the new suburban retail scene/Jordan Creek Town Center). In fact, I think Des Moines is extremely similar to LR, much more so than Jackson, Shreveport, etc. Regarding diversity, I can guarantee you that Little Rock is worlds more diverse than Des Moines...no comparison.

Providence? That's another matter entirely...not to mention that it's a LOT bigger than Little Rock (MSA 1.6M and its airport is TONS larger, etc., etc.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Richmond's a big town...but Ikea AND Nordstrom? Pretty impressive.

What do you do again Turboturtle? I thought you were in LR!

I work in IT. I moved to Glen Allen, VA (Richmond) on the 1st of this year.

We live less than 10 min from Short Pump Mall. My area is where are the non-native Richmonders live. The homes are newer (>1999). Lots of PUDs and HOAs.

What is most interesting about the Short Pump Mall development are the periphery retail, office, hotel and multi-family that have developed. I've thought about posting the list, but feel I would be bragging. (Apple store in Short Pump Mall) The list of what is not here would be much shorter.

This http://www.westbroadvillage.com/ development is across the and .5 mile east of Short Pump Mall. Click on the interactive map. One of the anchors is a Whole Foods. Dave and Busters part of this development. There is a Trader Joes (we've become weekly patrons) in the development that is shaded in white in the upper left corner.

Even with all this retail, we've been more impressed by our local library. Books and DVDs (wicked selection) are checked out with RFID scanner, self-serve style.

A quick note about the schools...

I have a child who will attend 3rd grade and one will attend kindergarten in the fall. First, there is no public PreK in Virginia. Our experience with PreK in LR at Fair Park was superb! My biggest regret about our move is pulling my youngest out of the PreK program. When we arrive we enrolled her in a private preK program that was supposed to be "the best." It couldn't hold a candle to Fair Park's program. We pulled her out and put her in another program that is better, but no where near the quality of the PUBLIC (yeah AR tax dollars) preK program in Little Rock.

Moving on... my oldest was at Williams Traditional Magnet. Williams is a much better school than her Virginia school even though the school's scores are very high. The facilities, however are nicer in VA. Her school was built in 2004.

Finally, I notice LR Central (Hail to the Old Gold! Hail to the black!) was 65 (ish) in Newsweek magazine's 2009 national HS ranking. Out of the 1300 high schools, none were from the Richmond area.

What does this all mean? It means you can still get a very high quality education in LR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.