- IN THE PAINT FACTORY: The 12 Star Flats (sign on left) and a printing business are part of the Cromwell architectural firm's project with Moses Tucker.
You need a glossary to understand just what is coming to the East Village, the
The Paint Factory: The new home of Cromwell Architects Engineers at 1300 E. Sixth St., formerly the home of Stebbins and Roberts paint company, hence the name.
12 Star Flats: One- and two-bedroom apartments coming to the second floor of The Paint Factory.
The Mixing Room: A community and event room for rent to the public in The Paint Factory.
The Printshop: Just like it sounds, a retail
Cathead's Diner: At 515 Shall (pronounced shawl) Ave., but really part of The Paint Factory, it's another enterprise whose purpose you don't have to guess at: It's a restaurant, operated by Donnie Ferneau and Kelli Marks.
The Bike Shop: Not a bike shop, but a 15,000-square-foot warehouse at 1212 E. Sixth St. being renovated by Cromwell Architects Engineers and Moses Tucker Real Estate to the tune of $1.5 million.
The Rail Yard: Not a rail yard, but a food truck and beer garden site. Located in The Bike Shop.
Count Porkula BBQ: Happily, just what it sounds like. Located in The Bike Shop.
eStem: The new elementary and junior high school that is part of the eStem Public Charter Schools Inc.
Now that you're oriented, let's start with The Rail Yard and Count Porkula in The Bike Shop (which used to house Ron King's Recycle Bikes for Kids refurbishing shop, now located at 717 E. 10th St. in North Little Rock).
- COUNT PORKULA IS COMING: As is The Rail Yard, to The Bike Shop.
The Bike Shop
Though it has a masculine-sounding name, The Rail Yard is a venture of three women — sisters-in-law Murry Newbern and Linda Newbern and their aunt, Virginia Young — who were inspired to create this outdoor venue that will feature food trucks in
Dogs will be welcome at The Rail Yard, though they may have to be restrained to keep them from charging Count Porkula. Kelly Lovell and Walt Todd, owners of the Count's food truck, had been looking for a kitchen "to do more catering out of," Lovell said.
"It just kind of organically grew. ... It was just kind of a perfect fit" with The Rail Yard, he said. They hope to be smoking by the first of July.
Rock Town Distillery at Sixth and Shall streets
- ARCHITECTS PLUS: Cathead's Diner will be on the first floor of The Paint Factory, which houses the Cromwell architectural firm.
The Paint FactoryNow cross Shall Street to The Paint Factory, the new home of Cromwell Architects Engineers and other enterprises. There, whiskers willing, Cathead's Diner will open in May.
Donnie Ferneau (formerly of Ferneau, Ferneau's Good Food and the 1836 Club) will once more assume his chef's toque, this time to offer Southern dishes, both traditional and eccentric: His partner, baker Kelli Marks, said the menu should offer such things as "meat and three" plates, pulled pork, ribs, fried chicken and ... and donut sandwiches and biscuit nachos.
The Cromwell offices, The Mixing Room and The Print Shop will all be entered from Sixth Street. The Mixing Room will be a 900-square-foot meeting and event space for the community. It will be available for rent, but Cromwell will allow such groups as
The Print Shop will offer retail printing for such things as high-volume business printing, booklets and large-format items like posters and banners.
The 12 Star Flats, 16 apartments named for the best-selling paint of Stebbins and Roberts successor Sterling Paint, are on the second floor of The Paint Factory, with an entrance on Sixth. Fowler said the flats will be ready for occupation in mid-April, and that several have already been leased. Available are three two-bedroom, two-bath units and 13 one-bed, one-bath studios.
Fowler hopes to see more development in the area. "I think what really needs to follow on the heels of retail and office is a really great focus on the
- OPENING IN JULY: eStem elementary and junior high schools.
eStem Elementary and Junior High SchoolEStem charter schools, with grades K-9 campuses on Third Street and Louisiana and 10-12 on the campus of UA Little Rock, will open a new elementary and a new junior high at 400 Shall St. in
- AT LAST, THE MARINA: A project many years in the works is close to opening.
Rock City Yacht ClubIt's been about 12 years in the works, but John Burkhalter's marina development on the Arkansas River, just east of Heifer International, is taking shape and will be open this summer, the engineer's spokesman said.
"The cat's out of the bag and we're full steam ahead," Chris Masingill said. "[We're] building a whole community down there. ... And it's connected to all the additional synergies downtown."
The Rock City Yacht Club, a public-private partnership that's taken myriad state and federal permits to build, will feature a four-acre park and public access ramp built by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, at least 158 boat slips and a dock store. A year or so down the road, Masingill said, Harbor Town — Burkhalter's name for the whole development — will include a luxury apartment complex called the Fountainbleau. "Every unit will have a view of the river," Masingill said; there will be a total of 176 two-bedroom "high-end" apartments in seven three- and four-story buildings. The apartment complex will feature a pool and clubhouse.
At full build-out, there will be 258 slips, and boat rental will be available. A $1.3 million federal Clean Vessel Act and Boating Infrastructure grant
"If you had told me nine years ago that I would just now be at this stage," Burkhalter told the Arkansas Times in 2015 as he gestured to the pipes and crane along the river, "I would have taken a pass." His estimated opening date then: summer 2016. It took two years more. The entrance to Harbor Town — on East Second Street (by way of Bond and Sixth streets) will be stunning, Masingill said: "A 60,000-pound anchor from a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier placed in the middle of a fountain — water jets shooting up all around it, lights flashing ... that's going to be the first thing that people see when they come into the marina," he said.
A 2,000-square-foot, full-service dock store will service boats. A restaurant adjacent to the dock store will open after the residential development is complete.