North Little Rock Street Dispute Yields to Fairway Cove Development

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Apr. 22, 2013 12:00 am  

Homebuilding is ramping up on a stretch of street in North Little Rock that was the subject of decades of debates and controversy.

The area in question is what Metropolitan Realty & Development LLC calls Fairway Cove, a cul-de-sac at the end of Fairway Avenue north of McCain Boulevard. 

Metropolitan President Terry Paff said the process of developing Fairway Cove was so traumatic that he didn’t want to talk about it. 

Two houses are already complete, and two more are under construction. Paff did say that the homes are all more than 3,000 SF and priced in the $400,000-$500,000 range. The company’s website lists 10 available lots in Fairway Cove priced between $70,000 and $80,000. 

Metropolitan Realty was founded in the 1920s by Justin Matthews Sr. Matthews was responsible for the development of several of North Little Rock’s residential areas. (He also commissioned North Little Rock’s most famous landmark, the Old Mill.) 

For years, the prospect of ever doing anything on a long-anticipated connection between Fairway in North Little Rock and Fairway in Sherwood was trapped in a sort of development purgatory.  

It all started with a bridge. 

Five Mile Creek crosses Fairway Avenue just north of its intersection with Somers Avenue. More than a decade ago, Metropolitan wanted to bridge the creek and extend Fairway into Sherwood, building houses along the connection. Fairway would have become a third connection between Sherwood and North Little Rock, along with JFK and North Hills boulevards.

But there were two problems.

“The developer thought it was too expensive to get the bridge in,” said Robert Voyles, director of community planning for North Little Rock. 

When Metropolitan contacted local governments for assistance in building the bridge, Voyles said, there was support from Sherwood, but none from North Little Rock. A subsequent traffic study raised concern among residents about noise from traffic.

“The neighborhoods got organized, and they petitioned the aldermen to be opposed to the plan,” Voyles said.

 

 

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