Northwest Arkansas cities are showing strong interest in making renewed commitments to their downtowns, and each of the region’s largest cities now have a performance dashboard to track how their downtowns are performing.
As part of a larger downtown development initiative launched by the Northwest Arkansas Council about a year ago, the Northwest Arkansas Downtown Dashboard is an aggregate of a series of individual dashboards provided to Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs and Springdale throughout 2014. Bentonville completed its dashboard in 2013.
“By focusing on the downtown district as an asset that should be nurtured and grown, the municipalities are positioning their cities – and subsequently the region – as great places to live, visit and do business,” said Daniel Hintz, founder of the Velocity Group and the agency that managed the downtown initiative for the Council. “Driven by our region’s elected leadership and an invigorated private sector, the substantial prioritization of downtown investment has been a significant and welcomed development shift.”
The 15-page dashboard provides information on downtown retail sales, consumer expenditures, downtown office space and the residential market from 2008-2013 in each city. The document also briefly describes downtown master plan efforts, downtown organizational structures and provides a general downtown profile in Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs and Springdale.
The document’s main purpose, according to Hintz, is to help each community get a sense of their downtown district, showcase the good work being done across the region and identify patterns and opportunities for future strategic investment.