Tuesday, June 24, 2014

MAPCO tries to gussy up convenience store; fails

Posted By on Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 4:46 PM

click to enlarge CENTRAL PARK IT AIN"T: Fancy sketch softens MAPCO proposal with a few trees. At Third  and Arch, looking east.
  • CENTRAL PARK IT AIN"T: Fancy sketch softens MAPCO proposal with a few trees. At Third and Arch, looking east.

, which is using power broker Dickson Flake to try to win Little Rock City Board approval of a giant gas station/convenience store at the difficult Third and Broadway intersection, has City Director Joan Adcock out distributing a pretty package of MAPCO propaganda to opponents in county government to see if they'll be soothed by a little landscaping and tweaking of the design and operational plan.

Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley, a foe of the plan and the traffic and beer buyers it will attract 24 hours in the midst of places his employees park and work, puts it bluntly: "You can put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig."

It remains unbelievable that the city Planning Commission approved this terrible idea over the strong objections of the city's professional planners. It's more unbelievable that the man who appointed those commissioners, Strong Mayor Mark Stodola, has been AWOL on the issue of how the rebounding downtown (a massive Robinson Center renovation is about to start two blocks away) will be helped by a B-grade convenience store at an already bad intersection.

The city board today is to set next week's agenda, including this terrible idea. 

A MAPCO sent this letter with other materials to the city board:

Mayor Stodola and Members of the Board of Directors,

Attached please find a letter from Joe Whelan (V.P. Strategic Growth) and me addressing many of the concerns brought up during the past several weeks as I interviewed members of the Board and other key officials in the downtown Little Rock area regarding our proposed MAPCO convenience store located at the northwest corner of 3rd & Broadway.

We appreciate the opinions and concerns of all involved and have modified our business model to address as many of them as possible in a way that we believe will alleviate most concerns. It is our sincere belief that our store will be a positive addition to the downtown Little Rock business landscape.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Board of Directors meeting next Tuesday, July 1 and respectfully ask for your support of our project.

Best regards,

Steve Vanden Noven
Director of Real Estate

Here's the full pitch, addressing security, beer sales (no 32- or 40-ounce single containers), landscaping and design.

If this gets approved, mark their promise of "fresh food" for an underserved downtown. Don't go looking for any arugula. But I bet you'll be able to get a 22-ounce Old Milwaukee and a Slim Jim. Says the letter:

We have listened to the community’s concerns and have modified our building and operational plans (within the constraints of our economic model) with the adjustments outlined above.

In other words: What, you expect a gas station to be able to afford to build something nice there?

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Speaking of MAPCO, Little Rock City Board

  • Sandwiches on the City Board agenda

    July 16, 2016
    The Little Rock City Board will consider Tuesday night an appeal of the Planning Commission's denial of a request to allow a Jimmy John's fast food sandwich shop at 4520 W. Markham, previously occupied by a branch bank. /more/
  • Johnny Key's message to City Board ominous

    June 22, 2016
    I had a conflict and couldn't watch Education Commissioner Johnny Key's appearance before the Little Rock City Board of Directors but two TV accounts and a comment or two from others discouraged those hoping for a return of a democratically controlled universal system of public education in Little Rock. /more/
  • Full house: All the at-large city directors will be on ballot again

    June 8, 2016
    Little Rock City Director Dean Kumpuris, one of three at-large members of the  Board, told me this morning that he will seek a fifth elected term to the board. He joined the board by appointment in 1995. /more/
  • Gene Fortson plans re-election bid

    June 3, 2016
    Little Rock City Director Gene Fortson says he plans to seek election to a third term in his at-large seat on the board. /more/
  • City board campaigns begin

    June 1, 2016
    It's June 1, which means candidates for Little Rock Board of Directors may begin soliciting money for November races. Molly Miller, challenging long-time Director Joan Adcock, is up and running. /more/
  • Public comments on Interstate 30 presentation to City Board

    May 24, 2016
    Public comments and questions were prohibited yesterday when the Little Rock City Board heard from consultants the city hired to evaluate the Highway Department's plan to wide Interstate 30 to as many as 12 lanes through downtown. But the president of the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods offered some choice ones today. /more/
  • City Director Brad Cazort not seeking re-election

    May 20, 2016
    Little Rock City Director Brad Cazort told me this morning that he won't be seeking re-election this year to another term in the Ward 4 seat on the Board. Capi Peck has already announced for the seat. /more/
  • City political races begin June 1

    May 11, 2016
    Candidates for Little Rock Board of Directors can begin raising money June 1 and two previously announced candidates — Capi Peck for the Ward 4 seat held by Brad Cazort and Molly Miller, who will oppose At-Large Director Joan Adcock — have scheduled events that day. /more/
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    April 30, 2016
    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University. /more/
  • A challenger for Joan Adcock?

    April 11, 2016
    Blue Hog Report says nonprofit consultant Molly Miller is considering a race for Little Rock City Board against long-time (since 1992) incumbent Joan Adcock. Matt Campbell, who writes Blue Hog, says this would be a good thing: /more/
  • More »

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