Sharon Priest, director of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, has written a letter to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor suggesting that he take a look at the Social Security Administration's plan to move out of its downtown Little Rock office in favor of a new building in an office park in western Little Rock A lack of parking at the federal courthouse seems to be the reason for the move. (There's actually quite a bit of metered parking around the courthouse and I found it easy to use the one time I had business at the Social Security office.)
Here's her letter, an e-mail from County Judge Buddy Villlines and a note Villines received that put the inquiry in motion.
Priest notes, as we did yesterday, that federal regulations encourage federal office investments in downtown cores. She also notes federal guidelines require consultation with local officials. To date, the only local person seemingly in contact with the feds on this new building is the local developer.
If parking is the issue, I think a local tycoon has just made a couple of city blocks in the city's historic core available for same. I bet he'd tear down some more buildings to make way for the Social Security Administration, too.
It is a good time for Social Security to provide some idea of just who it is who visits the office and where they come from. The office serves the southern half of Pulaski County and Saline County.