Friday, July 18, 2014

MAPCO proposal at Third and Broadway is dead

Posted By on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 2:09 PM

NO MAPCO: The chain has dropped its proposal to build a store on the parcel at left.
  • NO MAPCO: The chain has dropped its proposal to build a store on the parcel at left.

The city of Little Rock received a letter today from MAPCO, the convenience store chain, that it was withdrawing its controversial application to build a unit at Third and Broadway.

The letter said the out-of-state family that owns the property had not extended its option on the property to allow for a three-month delay given at a City Board meeting July 1. The letter, a copy of which I expect to receive shortly, said MAPCO still hoped to find a downtown location for one of its stores. They include gas pumps and a store with some prepared food and typically operate 24 hours a day.

Opposition to the plan built after the Planning Commission approved it.  Two delays of consideration of the matter by the City Board reflected strong resistance among the board. Mayor Mark Stodola had indicated to me last night that the project wasn't likely to go forward, though he had not previously made a public statement on the proposal. The Downtown Little Rock Partnership and the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods were among the opponents.

The withdrawal of the proposal takes a few directors off the hot seat. The idea lacked any sign of popular support, except from old-line real estate man Dickson Flake, working for MAPCO. But several had not yet expressed an opinion on the issue as it dragged on.

Pulaski County officials said they hoped, if the deal fell through, to talk to property owners about expanding county use of the property, a half block along Third between Broadway and Arch. The county, with an administration building across Broadway, has been leasing a former paint and body shop building on the property for parking. The major part of the parcel once was leased for a bank branch, but it is no longer in operation.

County officials objected to the plan because of fear of safety for employees. Traffic was a concern at what is a dangerous intersection. And some felt the development was out of place so close to historic government buildings and the under-renovation Robinson Auditorium.

UPDATE: Here's the letter.

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Speaking of MAPCO, Third And Broadway

  • The coming booze battle; the drys may have an edge

    October 17, 2014
    A statewide vote is set Nov. 4 on allowing alcohol sales in all 75 counties. For now, the drys appear to enjoy a money edge. /more/
  • Now City Director Hurst has a crime plan

    July 18, 2014
    Stacy Hurst NOW says she has a plan to do something about crime in Little Rock. Noted: She's been a member of the City Board, which oversees the Little Rock police department, since 2002. /more/
  • Stealth politics at grassroots in Arkansas

    July 10, 2014
    A funny thing happened shortly before vote-short developer Dickson Flake got a three-month delay from the Little Rock City Board on considering his widely panned proposal to install a MAPCO filling station and 24-hour convenience store at the dangerous Third and Broadway intersection, just a block and a half from a $70 million Robinson Center Music Hall redo. /more/
  • Jonesboro, too, has the convenience store blues

    July 8, 2014
    Turns out protectors of downtown Little Rock fighting a giant MAPCO convenience store and gas station at Third and Broadway, have soul mates in Jonesboro. Residents of a historic neighborhood are fighting a Kum & Go. /more/
  • A MAPCO update: Predictions still say it won't pass

    July 6, 2014
    A social event last night provided me with some first-hand background from several related parties on the raging City Hall debate on the proposal to install a 24-hour MAPCO gas station and beer outlet within two blocks of the front steps of the Robinson Auditorium, where a $70 million renovation has begun. PREDICTION: The proposal can't pass, but eternal vigilance is required. /more/
  • The Stupid Things Tom Cotton Said Edition

    July 3, 2014
    This week’s special session of the Arkansas General Assembly, the stupid things Tom Cotton said this week, more drama at the Arkansas Supreme Court, more politicking around the proposal to build a Mapco in downtown Little Rock and the deadwood of the former lieutenant governor’s office drifting off to new opportunities — all covered on this week's edition. /more/
  • Stealth campaigning reaches the city board level

    July 2, 2014
    I mentioned recently that robocalling was reported several days ago to stir opposition to Little Rock City Board approval of a MAPCO gas station and convenience store at Third and Broadway, in the midst of a government corridor bracketed by a federal courthouse, City Hall, the County Courthouse and the under-renovation Robinson Auditorium. /more/
  • UPDATE: LR board vote on MAPCO at 3rd and Broadway delayed for three months

    July 1, 2014
    A twist in the planned consideration of a MAPCO is the possibility of a deferral of tonight's vote at the Little Rock City Board meeting. /more/
  • Robinson Auditorium renovation begins; can a MAPCO be far behind?

    July 1, 2014
    Both the mayor and governor were on hand today for a ceremonial closing of Robinson Auditorium, which is to undergo a 26-month, $70 million redo with a bond issue backed by the hamburger tax. But we want to know what's going to happen on the big gas station proposed a few yards down the street. /more/
  • Fighting the convenience store on Broadway

    June 30, 2014
    I got two reports last night of robocalls urging calls to Little Rock City Board members to vote Tuesday night against the proposal for a MAPCO gas station at the dangerous Third and Broadway intersection, near the heart of the city/county government and convention district. /more/
  • More »

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