Northwest Arkansas developer giving more attention to parking solutions

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,258 views 

As construction of new commercial projects continues in the concentrated Pinnacle Hills area of Rogers, one developer said designs about vertical parking are becoming more of a consideration.

Burke Larkin, a senior vice president who heads up the Rogers office of Little Rock developer Whisinvest Realty, said surface area is becoming “scarce and valuable” in the area west of Interstate 49 in Rogers. Whisinvest is the developer behind The District at Pinnacle Hills, a 54-acre development at the southwest corner of the intersection of southbound I-49 and Pauline Whitaker Parkway.

Whisinvest is approaching the four-year anniversary of the groundbreaking for the project. It has since yielded several hundred thousand square feet of multiple office and retail buildings.

Combined with additional projects in the area worth hundreds of millions of dollars, they all have one thing in common: They will attract more people to work, shop and be entertained in Pinnacle Hills.

Larkin said developers are preparing to meet that demand.

“I have talked to several other developers who’ve realized we’re going to have to [build] parking decks,” Larkin said.

It’s a primary consideration, he said, for a project that will eventually break ground on the Whisinvest property — a hotel.

“We have talked to a couple of different developers, but we don’t have a [hotel] flag nailed down yet,” Larkin said. “We’re in the midst of how [to design parking] for a hotel, another big user we are working with, and a couple of good-sized restaurants. We’ve been in a very deep train of thought on how to park everyone at certain times of the day and night, and also make sure we don’t create any traffic problems for ourselves.”

In close proximity to the Whisinvest property, construction of Hunt Ventures’ Northgate Plaza is nearing completion. It includes an office building and attached six-story parking garage. It’s the first large-scale parking garage in the city. The Rogers development company has recently received approval for a similar office/parking structure nearby.