Power Up Downtown Discussion

Downtown Little Rock Partnership Executive Director Gabe Holmstrom joined civic and economic development executives to talk about the exciting investments on the way for everyone's neighborhood, and encourage business leaders to invest in the heart of our city. 

"Those projects, anchored by the $1 billion 30 Crossing infrastructure improvements along Interstate-30, include an expansion of the Clinton Presidential Center, the reopening of the Boyle Building, a new music center for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Windgate Foundation’s plans to create a mixed-use project.

Those investments follow the recent opening of the Arkansan Museum of Fine Arts on one end of downtown and the revamped Robinson Center on the other. And more projects such as approval of a master development plan for downtown, expansions by OneHealth and Lyon College in the East Village neighborhood, and the return of roving ambassadors to downtown streets are transforming the city’s core area, according to participants in a panel discussion Thursday regarding the future of downtown Little Rock.

“There’s so much opportunity here to connect all of downtown,” said Gina Gemberling, chief executive officer of the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Gemberling was joined for the panel discussion at the Clinton Center by Jay Chesshir, chief executive officer of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce; Gabe Holmstrom, executive director of the Downtown Partnership; and Merritt Dake, chief executive officer of OneHealth, which purchased the Heifer International headquarters next to the Clinton library. Lyon College of Batesville is planning to operate the state’s only dental and veterinarian schools from the campus. Rex Nelson, a columnist at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, moderated the discussion."

Read More in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette!

Downtown Little Rock Partnership Executive Director Gabe Holmstrom said downtown will see some changes soon.

“Just wait because the downtown that you see now and what we see every day is going to look very different in about 3 years,” Holmstrom said.

From the upcoming Veterinary School and Dental School to a tourism master plan, to the Central Arkansas Library Systems Main Library renovation, several projects were discussed.

Holmstrom said the future is bright for downtown.

“There are a lot of things in the books and that are underway right now, that is really going to make this city look a lot different in the coming years,” Holmstrom said.

Watch the full story on KARK.