Technology Park siting criteria posted | Arkansas Blog

Friday, July 13, 2012

Technology Park siting criteria posted

Posted By on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 2:18 PM

ONE ALTERNATIVE: This potential site has been mentioned for the Technology Park.
  • Kai Caddy
  • ONE ALTERNATIVE: This potential site has been mentioned for the Technology Park.

After some confusion earlier, the Little Rock Technology Park Authority has announced release of "site measurement criteria" for the place the authority will build an office building with $22 million in city tax money under authority granted by legislation written and promoted by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. The idea is for the building to attract private businesses.

Today's list, a bit longer than what was released earlier, is a list of factors that will be considered in selecting a site, but it sets no specific requirements in any of the individual areas. You can see the full list on the jump. For example: it asks those with potential sites to identify the proximity and "convenience" to research institutions, but doesn't set fixed limits on what's expected in those categories. The Authority's original insistence on a five-minute drive time between the site and either UAMS or UALR had caused great controversy and scoffing from city officials.

The release today came with the following statement from Charlie Dilks, the consultant hired by the Tech Authority (an independent board dominated by people with connection to the Chamber of Commerce and business establishment):

"The research and technology park industry is now over 40 years old, and a lot has been learned about the various criteria that have led to their success or failure.

"The goal is to create lively, mixed-use, amenity-rich environments around the intersection of university research and private industry. Successful parks promote the collaborative, entrepreneurial culture that is essential to innovation and the transfer of technology and cutting-edge research into commercial applications.

"As the board reviews alternative site locations, a list of criteria needs to be agreed upon in order to judge them. The criteria attached should be the template to be used for this evaluation. Weighing land site criteria and scoring them implies precision and objectivity. It should be understood, however, that a numerical selection process could lead to bad conclusions and high probability of failure.

"In the end, sound judgment based on experience of successful parks needs to be qualitatively made, and it should be noted that some of the site qualifications may be altered by investment such as infrastructure capacity, configuration, establishment of anchor institutions, and quality management whereas other sites, due to external conditions, may be less subject to change.

"After evaluating alternative sites for the park for probability of success, you may then test the best sites against the locational considerations to determine if the effects are positive or negative in the short and long runs."

The consultant and the Authority Board had from the start favored sites in the residential neighborhood between UAMS and UALR, generally a low-income area with a high minority population. Residents organized opposition to the plan and that prompted the City Board, which controls the money, to urge the Tech Authority to seek alternative sites. It's been a bumpy process, with a reluctance of some Authority leaders to let go of the original residential neighborhoods. Mayor Mark Stodola indicated to me yesterday his belief that the residential neighborhoods are off the table — though he added that a different, collaborative approach might have produced a different outcome had the process begun differently. Stodola has said positive things about a downtown site, east of Interstate 30, on commercial property near the Clinton Library and Heifer International. Those institutions and Acxiom have promoted the site, along with Lion World Services, which controls a 10-acre tract at its core that it no longer plans to use for a new center for its instruction program for the blind.

Board Chair Mary Good confirmed to me that the authority avoided setting specific requirements in each area because, for example, it would make no sense to reject a 29.8 acre site that fit all other desires but fell a fraction of an acre short of the optimal size.

Technology Park Site Measurement Criteria

1. SITE
Size
Configuration
Access
Exposure
Known or suspected environmental hazards
Traffic Patterns, transportation service
Proximity to research institutions
Convenience to research institutions
Other surrounding amenities
Zoning
Infrastructure capacity
Surrounding arterials
Utility Service
Telecom Service
Natural features
Cost
Acquisition
Development

2. LOCATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Displacement
Residential uses
Business Uses
Institutional
Effect on surrounding neighbors/development patterns

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Woo. An open line

    The open line. Hogs, Trump, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Driver killed in crash with Maumelle officer

    Maumelle police report the death early this morning of a motorist who crashed head-on with a Maumelle police officer. The officer and two passengers in the other vehicle were injured.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.
  • Woo. An open line

    The open line. Hogs, Trump, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation