First Security Center
Though she could barely see for all the dust and plastic, the moment Mary Neal Bridges stepped off the construction elevator on the 13th floor of the then-under-construction FirstSecurityCenter, she knew she had found what she wanted.
“We had to wear hard hats to come up and look at it,” she said. “I knew immediately, and I think we bought it within the week.”
<module>When she says “it,” what she’s talking about is most anybody’s definition of a downtown dream home: two large condominiums that she and her husband, banker Todd Bridges, bought and then had melded together into (several) rooms with a view. For the past year, she and Todd have lived there with their teen-age daughter and two dogs.
The condo is good bit more pricey than where they lived before: West Little Rock’s trendy River Ridge neighborhood, near the junction of I-430 and Cantrell Road. As a lover of the hustle and bustle of other big cities, Bridges said that moving downtown was something that she has wanted to do for years. Though the place was expensive, she said she sees it as a great investment. They’re saving some too: “With the cost of the yard and the maintenance and the upkeep, in the end, it all evens out,” she said. “You still have the things that you have to do, but it’s not like you’d have in a house.”
Bridges said that other than carrying up groceries in a cart, she honestly can’t think of a down side to downtown living. As a member of a family with busy schedules, however, she does say she couldn’t live there without the services of her friendly neighborhood dog walker, who takes the Bridges’ pooches for a stroll twice a day.
“I couldn’t do it without him,” she said. “It would be very difficult, because we couldn’t get rid of our dogs.”