The mixed-use development we have been waiting for is coming to the soon-to-be-former Cantrell Field. If you have been anywhere near Faulkner County news in the past few days, you have no doubt heard this very exciting announcement. All the nuts and bolts are being covered by the real news reporters, but as the resident trouble maker, I’d like to do a little day dreaming. I invite you to email me about what stores you hope will end up there, and in the coming weeks I’ll toss those suggestions out to the public. First, though, I’m going to have a little fun with my ideas.
I feel as if I can sense the answer to my question being screamed already. You want an Olive Garden. And a Red Lobster. There — I read your mind. But seriously, email me your thoughts.
First of all, I’m thinking food — Starbucks, Chipotle, Maggie Moo’s, etc. If my sources are correct, this place is potentially going to dwarf Conway Commons. Central Landing will be situated on 150 acres; whereas Conway’s current largest shopping center is on 80 acres. So it is going to need plenty of food options. Let’s definitely go ahead and get a Starbucks (or two) in there, OK? And how about a Cheesecake Factory while we’re at it? Let’s make Little Rock come to us.
We will have plenty of time to talk about what might be or what we wish for, though, as it will be three or four years before any of us will set foot in this shopping wonderland. See what I’ve been telling you about rumors? They take time!
It would be wrong to neglect downtown in all the excitement about this new, but very far off, mega project. You should be aware of a couple of things.
• The Locals coffee shop is under construction on Van Ronkle Street next to The Sporty Runner. Come back for updates on this new business that will help fund a local nonprofit.
• Downtown on Oak Street the building that formerly housed Dear John is being renovated for a new tenant, and the building that formerly housed A Southern Tradition is also being readied for new occupants.
• Another Kum and Go store will likely break ground soon at Prince Street and Hogan Lane.
• Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen will soon start construction on East Oak Street.
(Rachel Parker Dickerson is a freelance columnist/journalist. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org)