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bchris02

Little Rock vs. NWA

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Correction. I do know that Dave and Busters started in Little Rock and yes I could see Little Rock getting one. Dave and Busters is now headquartered in Dallas. I also believe NWA could support one as well. The difference in the money in Little Rock vs. NWA is that LR has a lot of older money (people 45+) compared to NWA (having an average age of 32-35). There are so many twenty and thirty year olds up here that want trendy restaurants, department stores, and bars that Nordstrom will have to come here soon. I know most of the commercial builders here in the area and they say that there are more retailers that come to look at opening in this area than in Little Rock due to the population growth and all the business travelers that come here every week. It just keeps on fueling the economy. One of my friends said that Crate & Barrel, Nordstrom, Cheesecake Factory, Macys, and many others are currently scoping the area and looking for site spots to open up.

It won't be too far down the road until it happens here. I just think with the downturn in the economy and the housing market going under that construction has slowed a lot. So it may be 2 years before something like that happens.

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I think NWA has greater long term growth potential, but I don't believe it will outgrow LR in our lifetime (and probably not ever). From a growth rate standpoint, if you consider where NWA started from, they are on a different trajectory than LR. That said, I don't believe that NWA will ever become as dense and urban as the LR Metro area.

I'm a LR native. Born in St. Vincent and have grandparents and parents all within 10 minutes of my front door. I'm not sure what it is going to take for LR's growth rate to increase. With boomers retiring, LR's hospitals are attractive. But, how will their influence effect the younger workers? It should create some jobs. I believe LR needs to grow its knowledge jobs and continue to increase and define its National and International reputation. And from what I've seen, Mayor Stodola is NOT up to the task. Yes. I voted for him and if the election were today, I would not.

The two economic centers both aid in Arkansas' success. It gives Arkansans choice about where to live in our state.

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Created this thread to debate NWA vs. Little Rock instead of continuing to derail the Promenade at Chenal thread. I have posted a few median age statistics in response to the above post.

Benton County median age: 34.2

Washington County median age: 32

Little Rock median age: 34.5

Pulaski County: 35

Not a huge difference as you can see. If it wasn't for the influence of the University in Fayetteville, it would be up in the 34-35 range just like Benton county and Pulaski county. NWA is riding on speculation. The growth is astounding, but its not what people make it out to be. People as recently as a year ago were acting like NWA was going to be the next Atlanta. Give me a break! The growth is starting to slow and I expect it to eventually plateau. As I said, Wal-Mart can only create jobs for so long. The kind of growth seen this past decade is NOT sustainable long term.

I have a hard time believing Nordstrom will build in little bitty NWA (comparatively speaking) before they would build in a real booming metro like Oklahoma City, the Memphis suburbs, heck not even Nashville has one! NWA will get a Macy's but that is about as far as I see it going up there. Business visitors increase restaurant demand but that has little to do with this type of retail as that has to be supported by locals.

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I was in NWA for the first time in a few years this past weekend and I must say I was less than impressed. By the way people talk about it I was expecting eveything to be booming all along 540 from Fayetteville to Bentonville but it looked a lot like the drive from LR to Conway which got me thinking. Why is it NWA vs. LR? With the the way NWA is sprawled across 2 counties and has farmland between the major towns why is it not NWA v. CentArk? That seems a more geographically apt comparison.

Don't get me wrong about my opinion of NWA though. Rogers was very nice especially since most of the stuff was new but it just seemed like a newer Conway to me. The comparison of NWA and LR(CentArk) is like comparing apples to oranges. NWA is sprawl while LR is more urban.

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I was in NWA for the first time in a few years this past weekend and I must say I was less than impressed. By the way people talk about it I was expecting eveything to be booming all along 540 from Fayetteville to Bentonville but it looked a lot like the drive from LR to Conway which got me thinking. Why is it NWA vs. LR? With the the way NWA is sprawled across 2 counties and has farmland between the major towns why is it not NWA v. CentArk? That seems a more geographically apt comparison.

Don't get me wrong about my opinion of NWA though. Rogers was very nice especially since most of the stuff was new but it just seemed like a newer Conway to me. The comparison of NWA and LR(CentArk) is like comparing apples to oranges. NWA is sprawl while LR is more urban.

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Yes the two areas are quite different. As with just about all new development it's very much sprawl oriented. While some of the NWA cities have been around for a while, they weren't sizeable until more recently. So you do get a lot more 'urban feel' in Little Rock. I think it will be a while before any of the NWA cities are large enough to have enough people who want a more urban feel. A number of good points have been already mentioned. Another aspect I'll throw out is that I would imagine Little Rock is better equipped to handle future growth. NWA already has some infrastructure problems. With the way construction costs have skyrocketed they won't fixed anytime soon either. There is a lot going on up in NWA. There's certainly a lot of growth, but that doesn't mean it's a lot of 'urban' growth. With no central core or dominant city it's not going to become a Little Rock or even a Springfield anytime soon. NWA has been able to pull in some restaurants and such that Little Rock doesn't have. But at the same time I'd be surprised to see NWA pull in any major retailer or such that wouldn't have already considered Little Rock, at least for now. Things may change but it's going to take a while.

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I was in NWA for the first time in a few years this past weekend and I must say I was less than impressed. By the way people talk about it I was expecting eveything to be booming all along 540 from Fayetteville to Bentonville but it looked a lot like the drive from LR to Conway which got me thinking. Why is it NWA vs. LR? With the the way NWA is sprawled across 2 counties and has farmland between the major towns why is it not NWA v. CentArk? That seems a more geographically apt comparison.

Don't get me wrong about my opinion of NWA though. Rogers was very nice especially since most of the stuff was new but it just seemed like a newer Conway to me. The comparison of NWA and LR(CentArk) is like comparing apples to oranges. NWA is sprawl while LR is more urban.

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Created this thread to debate NWA vs. Little Rock instead of continuing to derail the Promenade at Chenal thread. I have posted a few median age statistics in response to the above post.

Benton County median age: 34.2

Washington County median age: 32

Little Rock median age: 34.5

Pulaski County: 35

Not a huge difference as you can see. If it wasn't for the influence of the University in Fayetteville, it would be up in the 34-35 range just like Benton county and Pulaski county. NWA is riding on speculation. The growth is astounding, but its not what people make it out to be. People as recently as a year ago were acting like NWA was going to be the next Atlanta. Give me a break! The growth is starting to slow and I expect it to eventually plateau. As I said, Wal-Mart can only create jobs for so long. The kind of growth seen this past decade is NOT sustainable long term.

I have a hard time believing Nordstrom will build in little bitty NWA (comparatively speaking) before they would build in a real booming metro like Oklahoma City, the Memphis suburbs, heck not even Nashville has one! NWA will get a Macy's but that is about as far as I see it going up there. Business visitors increase restaurant demand but that has little to do with this type of retail as that has to be supported by locals.

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I don't even know if there are more business travelers to NWA compared to LR. XNA has roughly over 1million total travelers per year compared to nearly 2.5million at LIT.

Another issue for NWA is that they are referred to as a region. It is one big sprawl of suburbia. Big metro areas are defined by the core city.

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Let's not forget the next big boom that is going to happen in NWA. The Washington Post is calling Fayetteville "The Green Valley" because green startup companies are moving into Fayetteville to learn about Sustainability. This has a huge potential to bring thousands and thousands of new white-collar jobs. It can be compared to Silicon Valley in California.

Also, as Walmart moves internationally, many companies that do business with Walmart oversees are now going to start opening up offices in NWA to support Walmart. This could bring a whole new wave of vendors into the area. And let's not forget the new World Trade Center for the state is now in Rogers, AR. That partnership is astounding and is forming relationships with Japan, China, Brazil, Europe, and Mexico to bring companies into NWA.

The possibilities are endless, but I see it as a great growth potential. You can't argue that people desire to live here because of the outstanding schools, low crime rate, abundance of higher-level education, and the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Let's not forget the next big boom that is going to happen in NWA. The Washington Post is calling Fayetteville "The Green Valley" because green startup companies are moving into Fayetteville to learn about Sustainability. This has a huge potential to bring thousands and thousands of new white-collar jobs. It can be compared to Silicon Valley in California.

Also, as Walmart moves internationally, many companies that do business with Walmart oversees are now going to start opening up offices in NWA to support Walmart. This could bring a whole new wave of vendors into the area. And let's not forget the new World Trade Center for the state is now in Rogers, AR. That partnership is astounding and is forming relationships with Japan, China, Brazil, Europe, and Mexico to bring companies into NWA.

The possibilities are endless, but I see it as a great growth potential. You can't argue that people desire to live here because of the outstanding schools, low crime rate, abundance of higher-level education, and the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Let's not forget the next big boom that is going to happen in NWA. The Washington Post is calling Fayetteville "The Green Valley" because green startup companies are moving into Fayetteville to learn about Sustainability. This has a huge potential to bring thousands and thousands of new white-collar jobs. It can be compared to Silicon Valley in California.

Also, as Walmart moves internationally, many companies that do business with Walmart oversees are now going to start opening up offices in NWA to support Walmart. This could bring a whole new wave of vendors into the area. And let's not forget the new World Trade Center for the state is now in Rogers, AR. That partnership is astounding and is forming relationships with Japan, China, Brazil, Europe, and Mexico to bring companies into NWA.

The possibilities are endless, but I see it as a great growth potential. You can't argue that people desire to live here because of the outstanding schools, low crime rate, abundance of higher-level education, and the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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Give me a break! NWA is no Silicon Valley and never will be. This is nothing short of pure absurdity, almost laughable.

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Let's not forget the next big boom that is going to happen in NWA. The Washington Post is calling Fayetteville "The Green Valley" because green startup companies are moving into Fayetteville to learn about Sustainability. This has a huge potential to bring thousands and thousands of new white-collar jobs. It can be compared to Silicon Valley in California.

Also, as Walmart moves internationally, many companies that do business with Walmart oversees are now going to start opening up offices in NWA to support Walmart. This could bring a whole new wave of vendors into the area. And let's not forget the new World Trade Center for the state is now in Rogers, AR. That partnership is astounding and is forming relationships with Japan, China, Brazil, Europe, and Mexico to bring companies into NWA.

The possibilities are endless, but I see it as a great growth potential. You can't argue that people desire to live here because of the outstanding schools, low crime rate, abundance of higher-level education, and the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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He was referring to the environmental sustainability movement. And Fayetteville does have a good chance at becoming a hot spot for this in the US. The only downside is that the Europeans are way ahead of the US.

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Okay. Let's talk about sustainability.

I attended a panel discussion this evening at the Arkansas Arts Center about Sustainability on a macro/regional scale. The panel included NLR Mayor Patrick Hays, Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines, Martha Jane Murray - an architect, and Mark Robertson - a landscape architect. Two major points came out of this:

First, the new "green" economy (if you will), will have a tremendous impact on urban growth and individuals - either as voluntary participants or necessary participants due to increasing infrastructure and energy costs - which essentially necessitates an urban environment and a continued movement toward higher density.

Second, the two largest "generations" in the U.S. are both converging in a market that will demand continued urban density - retiring Babyboomers looking to move closer into town and into smaller, higher density housing as the retire, and the second largest demographic (just beginning to reach the income level to purchase houses) - who are looking for an urban lifestyle.

So, the ecological/sustainable "market" (if you will) AND the coming demographic wave is precipitating two conditions:

1 - Those who HAVE to move closer into the central cities (as gas prices go higher and people are spending $125/week and 2 hours a day in the car driving from Cabot to downtown LR) - the economics will certainly mitigate if not reverse suburban flight

2 - Those who WANT to move closer in toward urban environments, driven by demographic market trends and sophisticated citizens who value the vibrancy and economic sensibility

I think these emerging trends unquestionably benefit Little Rock, and continue to fuel the very, very urban development (which has dominated our economic and construction investment in central Arkansas) which continues at a rapid pace.

Let's be frank about this: NWA is the poster child of unsustainable and environmentally irresponsible growth. In fact, I find it ironic that a "green" market would (presumably) be incubating in such a suburban area. I understand that Fayetteville has a (warranted) reputation for combating this, but honestly, the vast majority of the growth in NWA is suburban, and economically unsustainable, and as trends would show, ever increasingly undesirable. So as the market trends toward urban environments for economic and market reasons, NWA cannot or has not offered it.

Having said all of that, I think the growth of NWA is great for the state, and I hope it continues. AND, I hope it finds a way to evolve and embrace environmental and urban practices. But for me, and lots of my acquaintances, and certainly a much larger portion of the younger demographic behind me, Little Rock offers a much more sustainable and urban environment that will continue to be an ever increasing factor to future growth and desired lifestyle.

[Note: Admittedly, LR has its share of suburban blight (specifically, the perimeter municipalities), as does every city. I am merely pointing out that Little Rock has the urban infrastructure and density in place to capture emerging market trends - and the urban core continues to receive tremendous capital investment adding further appeal and health to the overall market.]

p.s. Seriously. The World Trade Center. This is nothing more than an office building named "World Trade Center", is it not?

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1 - Those who HAVE to move closer into the central cities (as gas prices go higher and people are spending $125/week and 2 hours a day in the car driving from Cabot to downtown LR) - the economics will certainly mitigate if not reverse suburban flight

2 - Those who WANT to move closer in toward urban environments, driven by demographic market trends and sophisticated citizens who value the vibrancy and economic sensibility

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Whole-heartedly agree with everything you said here. Just a quick question, since you should be in the know: why are they inviting architects to head a panel about sustainable growth? Shouldn't they invite at least one urban planner/ designer, since those peoples' schooling actually lies heavily in the subject of sustainability?

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Okay. Let's talk about sustainability.

I attended a panel discussion this evening at the Arkansas Arts Center about Sustainability on a macro/regional scale. The panel included NLR Mayor Patrick Hays, Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines, Martha Jane Murray - an architect, and Mark Robertson - a landscape architect. Two major points came out of this:

First, the new "green" economy (if you will), will have a tremendous impact on urban growth and individuals - either as voluntary participants or necessary participants due to increasing infrastructure and energy costs - which essentially necessitates an urban environment and a continued movement toward higher density.

Second, the two largest "generations" in the U.S. are both converging in a market that will demand continued urban density - retiring Babyboomers looking to move closer into town and into smaller, higher density housing as the retire, and the second largest demographic (just beginning to reach the income level to purchase houses) - who are looking for an urban lifestyle.

So, the ecological/sustainable "market" (if you will) AND the coming demographic wave is precipitating two conditions:

1 - Those who HAVE to move closer into the central cities (as gas prices go higher and people are spending $125/week and 2 hours a day in the car driving from Cabot to downtown LR) - the economics will certainly mitigate if not reverse suburban flight

2 - Those who WANT to move closer in toward urban environments, driven by demographic market trends and sophisticated citizens who value the vibrancy and economic sensibility

I think these emerging trends unquestionably benefit Little Rock, and continue to fuel the very, very urban development (which has dominated our economic and construction investment in central Arkansas) which continues at a rapid pace.

Let's be frank about this: NWA is the poster child of unsustainable and environmentally irresponsible growth. In fact, I find it ironic that a "green" market would (presumably) be incubating in such a suburban area. I understand that Fayetteville has a (warranted) reputation for combating this, but honestly, the vast majority of the growth in NWA is suburban, and economically unsustainable, and as trends would show, ever increasingly undesirable. So as the market trends toward urban environments for economic and market reasons, NWA cannot or has not offered it.

Having said all of that, I think the growth of NWA is great for the state, and I hope it continues. AND, I hope it finds a way to evolve and embrace environmental and urban practices. But for me, and lots of my acquaintances, and certainly a much larger portion of the younger demographic behind me, Little Rock offers a much more sustainable and urban environment that will continue to be an ever increasing factor to future growth and desired lifestyle.

[Note: Admittedly, LR has its share of suburban blight (specifically, the perimeter municipalities), as does every city. I am merely pointing out that Little Rock has the urban infrastructure and density in place to capture emerging market trends - and the urban core continues to receive tremendous capital investment adding further appeal and health to the overall market.]

p.s. Seriously. The World Trade Center. This is nothing more than an office building named "World Trade Center", is it not?

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The thing about NWA is the potential present in this beautiful area of the state. Little has been done to properly manage the growth true, but more is currently being done up here than folks in Central Arkansas could ever imagine, just do a little research! I think Little Rock may be to far gone in the crime and quality of life arena to ever lucratively attract the kind of companies the Fayetteville metro area can attract. Industrial blue collar factories aren't exactly the cream of the crop in regards to new job development. Fayetteville is the only fish in a small pond concerning the sustainability movement in Arkansas, why not capitalize on such an excellent opportunity!

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The thing about NWA is the potential present in this beautiful area of the state. Little has been done to properly manage the growth true, but more is currently being done up here than folks in Central Arkansas could ever imagine, just do a little research! I think Little Rock may be to far gone in the crime and quality of life arena to ever lucratively attract the kind of companies the Fayetteville metro area can attract. Industrial blue collar factories aren't exactly the cream of the crop in regards to new job development. Fayetteville is the only fish in a small pond concerning the sustainability movement in Arkansas, why not capitalize on such an excellent opportunity!

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Whole-heartedly agree with everything you said here. Just a quick question, since you should be in the know: why are they inviting architects to head a panel about sustainable growth? Shouldn't they invite at least one urban planner/ designer, since those peoples' schooling actually lies heavily in the subject of sustainability?

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Why does everybody in NWA automatically assume Little Rock is a crime filled blue-collar industrial wasteland? It must be because NWA residents associate more with Tulsa as their big city and few of them ever go to LR. The areas with the highest income in the state are in the LR metro and anybody who lives here knows that the crime is very localized in a specific part of town that people just don't go. LR also has a diverse economy and is in no way dominated by manufacturing. Ft. Smith and Pine Bluff are the manufacturing centers of the state.

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The sustainability movement goes back to the early 70s. NWA is a blip.

From wikipedia...

Corporate propaganda are propagandist claims made by a corporation (or corporations), nearly always for the purpose of manipulating market opinion to the benefit of their product or to divide public opinion with regard to controversial issues related to that corporation, and its associated business dealings. Corporate propaganda is distinct from advocacy. Advocacy presents product and service information fully, fairly, and without exploitation of consumer emotions. Just as the use of these products and services can provide pluses which outweigh the minuses to society and individuals, their advocacy may function more positively than negatively.

Personal anecdote...

Leave no trace is a small branch off the larger movement that is advocated by Boys Scouts and Outdoor Retailers (Pack Rat). When I was working in outdoor retail in the 90s, it was nearly impossible to get anything going anywhere in Arkansas. Bubba just wasn't having it... shooting Busch beer cans in the Ozarks with a shot gun was far more important. WalMart's effort may influence some of this assbackward way of thinking, which is great. But, once their stores are retro-fitted, then what? Perhaps the Walton Family Foundation will continue to with the cause... but that remains to be seen.

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Yes the Europeans are way ahead of the US in this. But I still think we're going to hear more about this in the upcoming years. Maybe Fayetteville pushing to become a 'center' of environmental sustainability is mostly wishful thinking. But I don't think you can so easily dismiss it either. Nobody saw Wal-mart, Tyson and JB Hunt coming out of NWA either.

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