It’s difficult to appreciate the skill, talent and hard work that is behind Argenta Plaza, until you’ve set foot on the construction site.
Renderings of the project have been circulating for several months, showing sophisticated water feature designs, people enjoying the “front porch” and walking through the main square while videos are projected onto the 40-foot screen of the stage area. The east end of the plaza, dubbed “the backyard,” shows full trees, grassy berms and a convenient alleyway for loading and unloading for special events. Today, on a cool and sunny March afternoon, the main elements – a water wall, stage, water fountains and front porch – already stand out like rock formations in the desert and several construction workers are literally on their hands and knees filling in the gaps with pavers.
Among the many excited about the plaza’s progress is the staff of the North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), the city’s destination marketing organization that will manage the completed space.
“What we see is an asset not just for local residents to enjoy, but visitors to North Little Rock as well,” said Bob Major, North Little Rock CVB President & CEO. “Imagine people coming to town for a concert at Verizon Arena, or a big sporting event like Big Dam Bridge 100, and now having a space to have an after-party or just congregate and enjoy our beautiful downtown. It’s going to enhance the image of North Little Rock and give people a warm, welcoming experience when they visit.”
Until now, the space has been a large gravel lot where event planners have appreciated its convenient location but not necessarily its aesthetics. But when the plaza is completed, the North Little Rock CVB anticipates an influx of new events and existing events will be elevated to a whole new level of fun.
“We look forward to working with events like the annual craft beer festival that are consistently big local hits, but we’re also working on some new things to draw even more people downtown,” said Shannon Harris, North Little Rock CVB Guest Services Manager who will be the main point of contact for event coordinators. “Our job is to put North Little Rock on the map, and we are having fun brainstorming ideas and welcome ideas from the community as well.”