by Max Brantley
(Click on drawing for enlarged image.)
This is the new plan for Strode Development's proposed Park Avenue center, which will be considered by the Little Rock Planning Commision this week.
The rectangle at the lower left is a Target. At lower right, along University Avenue, is a residential element with a pool.
On the jump: Comments from someone who has been following the process closely.
The new plan includes three changes worth noting:
· Residential component strengthened by moving it from its previously proposed location---above cinema with Dolby shattering speakers with view overlooking the existing parking deck---to the SE corner of site where Ward auto center was on the corner of University/West Capitol. Also, there is now secured parking, pool, and public space amenities in this new rendering for residents. This change in resident location replaces what was initially proposed as a service court for semi-trailers at the corner of the site—cattycorner from War Memorial Park. Thus, this produces a stronger signature for that corner.
· Office space (flex-pad)—incorporated into new plan for possible multi-story office on top of retail anchor #4, just east of cinema. Gives Strode flexibility to add office space should he and medical providers come back to tenant negotiating table with more amicable terms for lease. This is a good thing.
· The possibility of using the old cavernous warehouse basement of Ward for underground parking proved to be too difficult an engineering feat to pull off. So that parking space fell off. But with the addition of the secured parking deck for the residential component, the total number of parking spaces for the entire Park Avenue remains roughly the same---which by the way is very close to what the design overlay requires (ie. 50% of the current city requirement that applies to new suburban parking development).