New Town In-Town
New Town In-Town was a study conducted in 1974-1975 by Bob Joblin of Little Rock Unlimited Progress which determined that demolition of businesses and displacement of people during the 1960s Central Little Rock Urban Renewal Project had in some ways harmed the "character" of downtown Little Rock.
Noted Joblin, "We basically had the idea at first of going in with bulldozers and knocking everything down and building a lot of new apartments with restaurants and shops, tennis courts, and swimming pools." Many of the projects had ended in failure in Little Rock and elsewhere in the country. Many vacant lots created in the 1960s remained unfilled.
The New Town in Town study concluded that an "Old Town" bounded by Main Street, Interstate-30, the Arkansas River, and Seventeenth Street should be protected from further demolition activity, and the moderate-income resident populations encouraged to remain in the area by providing regular foot patrols by police officers. Urban residential rehabilitation was recommended over blight removal, as was the reintroduction of life to the downtown district in the evenings and on weekends.
Rehabilitation efforts were bolstered by changes in the 1981 federal tax laws which permitted investment credits for historic renovation.
- Hodges, Vines, Fox & Associates, Downtown Little Rock Development Plan, Vol. 2: Land Use Plan (Hodges, Vines, Fox & Associates, January 1982).
- Little Rock Unlimited Progress, Little Rock New Town In-Town: A Downtown Residential Feasibility Study (Technical Assistant Project, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1975).
- Bob Stover, "Keep 'Character' of Downtown LR, Study Proposes," Arkansas Gazette, July 3, 1975.