Midtown and downtown
OK. It’s a done deal. We get it. The developers want War Memorial golf course. They’ve got the juice and we’ve got the government we deserve. Fine. But just a few thoughts before we destroy something that actually is irreplaceable.
Midtown needs no new development. The property values are the highest in the city. Increasing the density in this area will only promote its decline. That of course has been the story of development in Little Rock for 30 years. Pump it and dump it. Rodney Parham Road, South University, West Markham Street, Chenal Parkway and now Highway 10. On deck, Midtown. (If you want a redevelopment plan how about buying up the excess commercial space that didn’t belong in these areas and building new parks instead of destroying an existing one.)
Certainly some will call this progress. They will hail market forces and paint wonderful pictures of a sculpture garden and a world class zoo (what‘s that going to cost?). But these are not market forces. This is a raid on the public treasury. I have not heard anyone place a value on these public lands that we will be selling. It will be fascinating to see what they try to sell it for. The giveaway will do little for Little Rock’s most expensive neighborhood other than congest it and make it less livable.
There is nothing sentimental in saving a public resource. These are simple facts easily supported by real demographics. The Times is bold in its opinions on national and statewide issues such as the war, TIFs, school consolidation, minimum wage, and even Costco. But when it gets a little too close to home, the Times finds its fellowship with the Democrat-Gazette. You love to catch a hypocrite feathering his own nest. Maybe now you will be more understanding.
I was glad to read Warwick Sabin’s article about his hopes for the future of the downtown and eventually midtown areas. I, too, was excited about the passing of the sales tax and think a brand new baseball stadium is a huge step towards making Little Rock a “real” city.
As a resident of the Rivermarket area Block 2 lofts, I can assure you that it’s definitely a fun experience living downtown. I mean where else can you walk to a few art galleries (not that I actually have, mind you), have a nice meal, go to a bar and stumble back home?
There are, however, a lot of amenities not currently in place that it would take to make the downtown area a successful residential/retail area. Here in no particular order are things that you CANNOT do without getting in your car and driving somewhere if you live downtown: Buy groceries, get a haircut, rent a movie, go tanning, get a meal that doesn’t involve leaving a tip, or wash your car.
True, RAO Video has quite a selection, but its location is a bit sketchy, I wouldn’t walk that far down Main after sundown. These may not seem like necessities until you’re trying to fight the rush hour traffic to get to North Little Rock to get a haircut, or racing down Cantrell to return a movie before it’s late.
So, some suggestions for up-and-coming entrepreneurs: How about a deli that stays open till 10? Maybe a combo tanning/movie rental/barber shop? Come on folks. We’re young, we’re willing to shell out a grand a month to live in a loft, we’ve got disposable incomes. We are ready to be fleeced! Who’s gonna be first?
The editorial Aug. 18 exemplifies one of the worst tendencies of modern, knee-jerk liberalism, which is avoid any rational debate on an issue and simply resort to childish name-calling. Your position cannot win an argument, much less an election, so true to form you refer to the Federalist Society as “an extreme right-wing group, the Ku Klux Klan of legal societies.”
Noticeably absent from the editorial was any factual support or reference. Please, give us on example of its right-wing extremism, just one.
I actually enjoy reading your predictable, liberal tabloid, but this was too much to take. How you can think that any responsible person can take you seriously is a complete mystery. That you would resort to such hyperbole (and that is too charitable a word to use) against a Supreme Court nominee shows the desperate straits in which you find yourself. Having lost the White House, Senate, House of Representatives, governorships, statehouses, indeed all of the popularly elected branches of our government (all of which happens to coincide with the rise of the Clintons — isn’t that an interesting coincidence?), the courts are all the Democrats have left. If you want others like you on the Supreme Court, win more elections. It’s as simple as that.
I read with great interest Max Brantley’s columns about Costco. I, too, am waiting for their coming to Arkansas, but there are two stores in Memphis that I visit two times a year and load up with all the goodies that I can’t find here. I lived in Portland, Ore., for a long time, before coming back home to Arkansas, and still have my Costco membership. When I drive to a big city in Texas, etc., I always try to stop at one. They put Sam’s Clubs to shame.