“My administration’s commitment to downtown development began early in our first term when we realized that growth by annexation was not really feasible for North Little Rock. Also, we understood that we had tremendous assets like available land and a historic downtown with a small town flavor.
We were determined to use those assets in a manner that fostered long term, sustainable and appropriate downtown development. Often that meant forgoing quick fixes while preparing plans, developing strategies and creating mechanisms that would foster quality development.
In the early 1990’s, North Little Rock became the states’ first city over 50,000 in population to create and operate a Main Street program. Our downtown residential redevelopment has been successfully addressed by the Argenta Community Development Corporation, which the city helped create and finance.
We received one of the first grants from the then new 1991 federal highway program which financed the first stage of our riverside trail. The citizen driven visioning process we established to plan for the riverside promenade resulted in the suggestion that a multi-purpose arena be built along the Arkansas River in downtown North Little Rock. Thus, the highly successful Alltel Arena found its genesis. Progress continues with the construction of a 50 million dollar state of the art minor league baseball stadium that will be the new home of the Arkansas Travelers professional baseball team.
In a little more than a decade of redevelopment, the downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock have been the beneficiaries of nearly 2 billion dollars of public and private investment. Impressive as that is, it is my belief that the best is yet to come as visitors and residents alike come to live, work and play in this evolving, beautiful and exciting urban community.”
Patrick H. Hays, Mayor
North Little Rock, Arkansas