Former Congressman Vic Snyder will moderate at a public hearing tonight on the Little Rock Technology Park, set at the less- than-felicitous time of 7:30 p.m. at UALR's Engineering and Information Technology Building, Room 203. That's where tech park board chairman Dr. Mary Good works, as it happens.
Charles Dilks, who worked on the Angle study plan commissioned by the chamber in 2008 and who the tech park authority has commissioned to consult on potential locations for the park, will answer questions from the public. Dilks has recommended four sites in lieu of the three neighborhoods suggested by the Angle report but no longer (in theory) under consideration because of neighborhood backlash. They are:
* DOWNTOWN: A 10-acre site east of Interstate 30, proposed by Moses Tucker for property mostly controlled by World Services for the Blind, which has given up on a plan to build a new facility there. Good has been harshly critical of this site and questioned the price and size, though proponents, including Mayor Mark Stodola, have said additional parcels could be added. This land costs about $5.2 million. Backers have touted its proximity to Acxiom, the Clinton Library, Heifer and a growing residential community. Dilks noted it's "far" from sponsoring institutions, though the neighborhood presents attractive features.
* COL. GLENN AND UNIVERSITY: A parcel of up to 84 acres recommended by Flake and Kelley for the University District Partnership on the south side of Col. Glenn, at the southern edge of the UALR campus. No price given until precise needs are known. It includes a shopping center, former Coleman Dairy property and some Fourche Creek flood plain land, noted unfavorably by Dilks and certain to be a focus of opponents. It's contiguous to campus and work there would be a shot in the arm for a struggling neighborhood. Dilks noted the need to remove retail tenants, though Hank Kelley has said most are in short-term leases are readily able to relocate. Dilks also said the site's very proximity to UALR might be a negative to other sponsors by identifying it too closely with UALR.
* RIVERDALE: A proposal from Flake and Kelley for one of the Verizon (formerly Alltel) buildings in Riverdale (1 Allied Drive, Building 5), a 224,000-square-foot building with up to 22 acres counting adjacent undeveloped ground. Dilks said the large building would have to be largely vacant at the outset, a possible drawback, and said the single large structure would make it impossible to build a mixed-use campus.
* JOHN BARROW: This is 30 to 40 acres along the 1900-2200 blocks of John Barrow Road, a neighborhood south of Kanis Road pushed by its city director, Doris Wright. Another Barrow neighborhood site — 37 acres along Riley Drive, just south of Interstate 630 — was withdrawn because it's under contract now for a medical facility. Dilks said the site would be easy to develop, but was expensive and a long way from sponsors.
Now that the Stephens properties on Main Street and Fifth have been sold to The Little Rock Technology Park, what is Stephens' share in the Metrocentre Improvement District assets, I wondered as I wrote yesterday's item on the potential sale of Henry Moore's "Large Standing Figure: Knife Edge." /more/
Dr. Mary Good, who has been the chair of the Little Rock Technology Park Authority board since its formation as a nonprofit in 2011, informed UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson in a letter Jan. 20 that she will step down March 15, it was announced at Wednesday's tech park board meeting. She said she would stay longer, if needed, until her replacement is named. /more/
The Little Rock Technology Park plans to close Friday on its first purchases of real estate: 5 Main Place at Fifth and Main streets, the Annex Building at 417 Main, the Mays Building at 415 Main St., the parking lot between the Mays Building and the KATV-Ch. 7 building (referred to as the Center Theater lot, because that is where the theater stood before Stephens interests had it demolished), the parking lot on the west side of Main between Fourth and Fifth, the old Stephens Inc. offices on Fifth Street, and the Keith parking at Scott and Fifth Street. /more/
Chad Young, an architect with Wittenberg Deloney and Davidson, presented the firm's preliminary drawings for the first phase of the Little Rock Tech Park construction: renovation of 42,000 square feet in buildings at 415 and 417 Main St. The presentation included a timeline that should a construction start date of March 8. /more/
The Little Rock Technology Park Authority board this afternoon signed off, with one nay vote, on the terms of two loans totaling $17.5 million offered by a consortium of Little Rock banks led by Centennial Bank. The authority board also agreed to extend the deadline for Richard Mays to accept its offer of $845,000 for his building at 415 Main St. to noon Friday. The deadline had been noon today. /more/
The Little Rock Technology Park Authority board voted this afternoon to offer Richard Mays $845,000, the sum his appraiser reached for his building at 415 Main St., while concurrently preparing to file a condemnation lawsuit. Mays has until noon Nov. 16 to agree to the offer; otherwise, the board will proceeds with a lawsuit. /more/
The Little Rock Technology Park Authority has received an updated appraisal of 415 Main St., a two-story, 10,020-square-foot office building owned by lawyer Richard Mays, that puts its value at $670,000. /more/
The Blue Eyed Knocker group of photographers pay homage to the Polaroid instant camera with an exhibition, "Last Glimpses of Authentic Polaroid Art," opening Friday, July 1, at Christ Church's gallery. The show includes 36 photographs by fine art photographers Brandon Markin, Darrell Adams, Lynn Frost, Rachel Worthen and Rita Henry.
The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
A Clark County truck accident Tuesday morning left the superstructure of the Ouachita River Bridge on state Highway 51 so damaged that the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has closed the bridge.
Little Rock police are still withholding identification of a man found shot to death early Sunday on Howard Street, but multiple reports on social media are tying the death to that of a well-known figure on the local music scene, TC Edwards. The suspect in a criminal case brought over crimes against Edwards will likely be reviewed for potential involvement in his death.
Still more good news for Lucie's Place, the small Little Rock nonprofit that works to help homeless LGBT youths. It's added a $10,000 grant to $30,000 raised in a symbolic response to the Duggar family's support for discrimination against gay people in Fayetteville.
Plaintiffs' lawyers made their case today to continue to trial with the civil suit over then-Judge Mike Maggio's reduction of a $5.2 million jury verdict in a nursing home negligence case to $1 million, a reduction he said he made in return for campaign contributions from the nursing home's owner.
Attorneys for the businessman argue that his cash payments to a former deputy director of DHS, Steven Jones, did not constitute corruption. They say prosecutors cannot prove the money was given in exchange for any particular "official act" from Jones.
Donald Trump is right. There was a time when America was great and it didn't pussyfoot around to avoid offending people who thought they were victimized by discrimination. It was, let's see, the period after World War II, when everyone prospered and America was kicking butts, at home and abroad, and Arkansas's leaders were at the center of it.
We are receiving 200-pounds of large heirloom tomatoes Friday morning from Times publisher and farmer Alan Leveritt. We have dark, brick red Carbons, Goldies (large, high acid golden tomatoes) and Annis Noire, a delicious French heirloom that is green with red marbling when ripe.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has issued a news release about freeway expansion with relevance in Little Rock. It's about wasting money to widen freeways that only create more congestion. Sound familiar?
Attorney General Loretta Lynch is announcing she will not participate in any decisions made on the federal investigation of use of a private e-mail server by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.
The state's performance on the ACT college entrance test was released today and, in the words of the Education Department, "held steady." In short, the state didn't improve noticeably and scores still lagged behind the national average. In none of four categories did a majority of students demonstrate college readiness.
Our news partner KARK is reporting, quoting a local newspaper, that a Heber Springs couple were killed in a shooting in their print shop, though Heber Springs police have not yet confirmed that both are dead.