Thursday, January 15, 2015

The "Financial Quarter" — a design idea for downtown

Posted By on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 5:02 PM

click to enlarge studio_main_plus_quarter.jpg

Architects, developers and business people met today to talk about transforming the look, feel and use of a 30-block area that includes Capitol Avenue and blocks north, which they've tagged as the "Financial Quarter." (The boundaries, not written in stone, would be Broadway and Main on the west and east and the Arkansas River and Sixth Street on the north and south.)

The get-together was spearheaded by the design collaborative StudioMAIN (1423 Main St.), whose members include, among others, Chis East of Cromwell Architects Engineers, Joe Stanley of Polk Stanley Wilcox; Glen Woodruff of Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson; and John Martin of Moses Tucker. The idea: 

"... to mobilize the design community to engage, through innovative design, the stake holders of the “Quarter.” Engagement by creating solutions for the most basic of spaces to the most engaging of spaces: we believe that innovative design will draw people back into the financial heart of our City. 

Chief among the ideas was to brand and re-energize the street by, for example, transforming the "mausoleum" (Rett Tucker's apt description) bank lobbies — such as the vast and empty lobby of Bank of America — with retail, liven the cold-looking plazas in front of the banks with such things as pop-up eateries or stores, paint the crosswalks — or even the streets — in a color that would signal to pedestrians that they were in the Financial Quarter. Outdoor dining. A park. Special events — maybe even a Riverfest extension. All with an eye to giving the same vibrant feel to Capitol that exists in the River Market district today. 

Jimmy Moses noted that the River Market area was once desolate, with less to work with than Capitol and surrounding streets. He said the River Market itself, a public investment, was key to the redevelopment of the area, and wondered what sort of dynamo the city could add to Capitol. He added that he thought Third Street from Main to Broadway — which is lined by parking lots — was also sorely in need of transformation. 

Coincidentally, the meeting followed after yesterday's announcement from a partnership that owns the old Sterling Store on Capitol and the building housing EJ's Eats of new businesses coming in, including Mylo Coffee Co., Jerky's Spicy Chicken. Also coming to the Sterling store building (now owned by Jordan Haas): Crossfit Composure gym.

The group will talk to law firms and major businesses, like Stephens Inc., to get input in coming weeks. 

Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-6 of 6

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Arkansas Times Recommends: A Gift Guide

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week. This week, a gift guide.
    • Dec 2, 2016
  • Advocates for the disabled object to Capitol gates

    Disability Rights Arkansas Inc. (DRA) and Arkansas State Independent Living Council (ARSILC) have issued a statement objecting to the new gates that will block entrance to the state Capitol grounds on the weekends.
    • Dec 2, 2016
  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Mike Huckabee, meet James Madison

    Not that it will do much good, but Times columnist Ernest Dumas this week provides some useful Founding Father history, plus a little bit of Bible, for how wrong-headed Mike Huckabee, Asa Hutchinson, the Republican legislature and others are in using government to enforce their religious views.
    • May 26, 2015
  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016
  • Cosmopolitan: Why were the Duggars made famous in the first place?

    A writer in Cosmopolitan wonders why it took so long for attention to the "disturbingly misogynistic" dimension of the Jim Bob Duggar family.
    • May 28, 2015

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
  • Forget identity politics

    Amid the climate of disbelief and fear among Democrats following Donald Trump's election, a fascinating debate has broken out about what's called "identity politics" on the left, "political correctness" by the right.
  • Lawsuit filed against ADC officials, prison chaplain convicted of sexual assault at McPherson

    A former inmate who claims she was sexually assaulted over 70 times by former McPherson Womens' Unit chaplain Kenneth Dewitt has filed a federal lawsuit against Dewitt, several staff members at the prison, and officials with the Arkansas Department of Corrections, including former director Ray Hobbs.
  • Lessons from Standing Rock

    A Fayetteville resident joins the 'water protectors' allied against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Most Viewed

  • Rapert compares Bill Clinton to Orval Faubus

    Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)  was on "Capitol View" on KARK, Channel 4, this morning, and among other things that will likely inspire you to yell at your computer screen, he said he expects someone in the legislature to file a bill to do ... something about changing the name of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation