Lobbying for downtown culinary school intensifies | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lobbying for downtown culinary school intensifies

Posted By on Tue, Dec 13, 2011 at 10:03 AM

The downtown business establishment has turned up the heat on the lobbying effort to get Pulaski Tech to move its culinary school downtown, a subject the Tech Board is likely to decide Thursday. Lobby groups: Argenta Arts Foundation, Argenta Community Theater, Argenta Downtown Council, Argenta Community Development Corporation, Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock Downtown Partnership, Little Rock Regional Chamber, North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, North Little Rock Visitors Bureau, Riverfest.

Here are the talking points. (My unsolicited advice. Ditch that overused word "synergy." Apart from meaning the preferred location is close to some other institutions — but not lots of others — it's mostly meaningless.)

I don't think Pulaski Tech will forsake its Southwest campus for a move downtown if the cost is appreciably higher, as a Tech consultant has said it would be. Downtown backers are skeptical of that estimate. They'll have to prove it's off-base. Legislators and city officials from Southwest Little Rock also tell me they are more than a little PO'ed by the pressure to move downtown. What are they? Chopped liver?

It's an interesting political debate. Pulaski Tech has the benefit of enormous success at a low cost. It did it without a great deal of help, by the way, from interest groups now seeking favors. So it's more independent than some. I like any and all ideas for luring people onto moribund Main Street. But taxpayer- (or, here, student-) financed institutions can't do it alone. Private investments are also needed. Market matters.

The notion that one location is better than another for a school or research facility also brings up the Little Rock Technology Park site search that I mentioned last night. A real estate professional asks me: Does it really matter if it's very close to UAMS or UALR, a location that will dislocate potentially hundreds of residents? Couldn't it be put on a greenfield a few miles away? Land costs in the established neighborhoods now proposed for study and the modest 20,000-square-foot building initially planned will eat up the $22 million from the new city sales tax pretty rapidly, before any staff is hired or additional buildings are on the drawing board.

Tags: , , ,


Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

  • The John Lewis open line

    U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the Civil Rights hero, gave a rousing speech today at a rally for Clarke Tucker, who's hoping to join Lewis in Congress next year, at Philander Smith College. Also, here's an open line.

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation