LITTLE ROCK –Metroplan, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced today that five neighborhoods in four cities were recently selected by the Imagine Central Arkansas Partners (ICAP) to receive planning assistance to help redevelop their communities. The cities awarded are Bryant, Conway, Little Rock and North Little Rock. Each award is for up to $200,000 in federal funding (plus local and in-kind match and contributions) to provide individual consultant-led planning assistance to build specific redevelopment plans that include market analyses, form based development codes, and guidance on infrastructure investments.
Prior to the Jump Start selection, six letters of intent were received from across Central Arkansas and twenty subareas were originally considered. Eight finalists were selected, and of these, the awarded subareas include:
- City of Bryant – Old Town Bryant
- City of Conway – Markham Street
- City of Little Rock – 12th Street/Pine and Cedar
- City of North Little Rock – Levy
- City of North Little Rock – Park Hill
Jump Start is a key component of the Imagine Central Arkansas long-range planning process. The goal of Jump Start is to show that development patterns featuring higher densities, mixed uses (commercial, residential and retail) and containing a variety of housing choices in a range of price points can be both commercially successful and environmentally sustainable. As a result, such development patterns can generate more tax revenue and fewer public expenses per acre, making them more sustainable over time from the public sector standpoint.
The Jump Start grants will provide professional consultant help in urban planning and design, infrastructure, and market analysis to the selected communities and their project teams. The broad involvement of neighborhood groups, business and property owners, realtors and financial institutions working closely with city staff and other key stakeholders will be critical in each project’s success.
The Imagine Central Arkansas Partners (ICAP) is a diverse, voluntary committee charged with helping the Metroplan Board and Regional Planning Advisory Council (RPAC) to consider ways to integrate housing, environmental, economic and health issues in a more sustainable way into Imagine Central Arkansas. Each Jump Start entry went through a competitive process and was selected due to the strong commitment from the sponsoring city, broad public and private partnerships, stated public education and engagement objectives, and demonstrated support from existing businesses/land owners. Each city is required to provide a 20 percent match. Full development plans and enabling development regulations will be completed by December 2014.
Imagine Central Arkansas is the name used to identify the planning effort led by Metroplan, the metropolitan planning organization, to expand transportation, housing and development choices within the four-county region that includes Faulkner, Lonoke, Pulaski and Saline Counties, and to set priorities for transportation investments in Central Arkansas. Individuals, local businesses, corporations, nonprofits, the state and local governments, colleges and universities, and special interest groups who share a common passion for and interest in preserving our region’s rich culture, history and resources while providing transportation choices that contribute to quality growth and economic development are involved in the process. Imagine Central Arkansas strives to be all-inclusive so that each and every voice has an opportunity to be heard.