Jan 14, 2022 - Business

What does Springdale's future hold?

A rendering of Springdale's downtown from the city's 2015 master plan. Courtesty City of Springdale

If you've got an opinion about Springdale, someone wants to hear it.

What's happening: The Downtown Springdale Alliance is seeking public input on an update to the city's master plan, which was adopted in 2015.

Why it matters: The updated plan will influence development in Springdale's downtown for the next 5 to 10 years.

  • The alliance is a nonprofit that's not directly affiliated with the city.

Details: A central website for the revised master plan, available in English, Spanish and Marshallese, has been launched.

  • There are surveys for residents, business owners and visitors in each language. In addition to general demographic data, the surveys ask for input on the strengths, weaknesses and wish lists for the downtown area.
  • There's no set timeline. However, Jill Dabbs with the Downtown Springdale Alliance tells Axios she hopes to be finished with the survey process by the end of February.

Yes, and: The alliance will hold public input sessions:

  • Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30pm at 214 S. Main St.
  • Thursday, March 31 at 6:30pm at The Jones Center.

Flashback: Historically, Springdale's downtown has lagged behind other NWA downtowns in terms of new development and revitalization. Its location, far from Interstate 49, and the fact it's surrounded by more established bar and restaurant hubs in other towns meant the area struggled.

But the city committed to preserving its "Main Street" appeal.

  • In 2014, Tyson Foods gifted the Downtown Alliance $1 million to help develop the master plan.
  • The last leg of the Razorback Greenway trail, which runs through the city's downtown, was completed in 2016, the same year Tyson opened a 28,000-square-foot office building on Emma Avenue.
  • In 2017, Tyson opened another office building with 56,000 square feet and space for 300 employees. Along with investment by other developers, the area is becoming a destination.

What they're saying: Part of the revitalization involves not just people working downtown, but also people living there.

  • Dabbs tells Axios there will be another 300 residential units opening in the area in the next 18 months.
  • They're mostly rentals, with a mix of affordable and luxury housing, she says.

What to watch: Once initial input has been gathered, another set of public input sessions will be held:

  • Wednesday, May 18 at 6:30pm at 214 S. Main St.
  • Thursday, May 19 at 6:30pm at The Jones Center.

Following the integration of input in May, a final proposal will be presented to the mayor and finally the city council, probably by mid-summer, Dabbs says.


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