Argenta Master Plan
Main Street and Historic Downtown
North Little Rock, AR
Owner: New Argenta Fund, LLC
Developer: Vanadis 3 / New Argenta Fund, LLC
In 2003 Vanadis 3 joined with a handful of other individual investors to form the New Argenta Development Group. Their goal? To redevelop Argenta, the historic downtown district in North Little Rock, Arkansas , into a vibrant district ideal for arts, dining, and entertainment.
When the group formed, most storefronts and office buildings in Argenta were empty or under-utilized. There were some positive factors in the area – one was the recently built Alltel Arena, which is central Arkansas’s largest indoor entertainment venue. Also, there was a small residential neighborhood to the west of Argenta that featured Craftsman bungalows and an active grassroots group that was working to keep the area safe, friendly, and well maintained. Local government was showing an interest, too.
Since 2003, the New Argenta Development Group and Vanadis 3, serving as both co-owner and development consultant, have continuously acquired property and successfully completed the following projects:
- Argenta Place, a 27,000 square-foot mixed use development
- Cregeen’s Irish Pub, a tenant in Argenta Place, with an Irish-designed interior
- Argenta Seafood, a locally owned restaurant run by a favorite area chef
- The Art Scene, a furniture store turned art gallery and event space with regular, popular Friday night art parties
- Improvements to Main Street storefronts, including the addition of a Vanadis3 office space, an interior design studio, and a wealth management office
Slated for the future are:
- CityGrove Townhomes: 57 residential units, likely to achieve LEED certification, with construction to begin in early 2008
- Starving Artist Café: a restaurant run by another favorite local chef, to be opened in a previously vacant Main Street storefront in mid-2008
- An organic grocery store with a small incubation space on Main Street to open mid-2008 with plans for a larger store within the next three years
- More residential units and mixed-use space in an approximately three-block area previously occupied by an inappropriately-sited feed mill that recently closed
- Parking garages, more restaurants, and more hotel space
The New Argenta Development Group has worked to form additional groups to help complete the Argenta vision; these include the Argenta Downtown Council and the Argenta Merchants’ Association. These groups have helped to plan and fund the installation of way-finding signage for visitors and trolley shelters for the new streetcar line. These groups, including the employees of Vanadis Investment Group, have visited Memphis, Tennessee; Norfolk, Virginia; and Dallas, Texas; where we have studied these cities to learn from their redevelopment efforts.
All groups have worked closely with the City of North Little Rock to add a trolley line connecting Argenta to the Little Rock River Market District across the river, to coordinate with the city-commissioned master plan by national planner Bob Gorman, and to bring the Arkansas Travelers’ minor league baseball team to the city.