Shaping Life in North Little Rock
By Chris kent, Executive director, Argenta Downtown Council
Work hasn’t even completed at North Little Rock’s Argenta Plaza, but the centerpiece of the neighborhood’s redevelopment has already shown proof of concept. That being, if you build it, they will come.
Following the announcement of the new $5.4 million Argenta Plaza, the first corporate tenant to seize the opportunity to build there was Charles Morgan, CEO of Little Rock tech firm First Orion Corporation. First Orion’s showstopper five-story headquarters is scheduled for completion later this year and will anchor the east side of the plaza.
Following First Orion came the 600 Main Building. That project will house Taggart Architects on the top floor, the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association on the second level and The North Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau on the first.
The last piece of the plaza puzzle is the three-story Power + Ice Building, the brainchild of developer John Chandler. Power + Ice will anchor the north side of the plaza and will have upper-floor residences on the top two floors.
The first floor will house the Power + Ice Food Hall, a creation of Brian and Eric Isaac, proprietors of longtime Argenta Italian restaurant, Capeo. The food hall will serve as a launch pad for six other concepts offering a wide range of cuisines. These upscale eateries will showcase an array of sights, smells, sounds and tastes from open kitchens that put the art of cooking on display.
The food hall is not the only new culinary experience on the horizon, either. Recognizing the impact the plaza and new private investment will have on Argenta, Jess McMullin of nearby Flyway Brewing plans a new gastro pub, Brood & Barrell, at 411 Main St. Targeting a summer 2019 opening, Brood & Barrel will focus on specialty lagers brewed at the Flyway location, available exclusively at the pub.
Once completed, Argenta Plaza is expected to be a thriving public space, hosting multiple events throughout the year, and lending plenty of activity to this bustling, walkable neighborhood.