New Life for Downtown LR's Pettaway Neighborhood

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A neighborhood near the Governor's Mansion is seeing some positive change.

The Pettaway neighborhood is seeing quite a boom in new construction and the refurbishing of old buildings.

Houses are being built now on what were empty weed-filled lots.

The contractor leading the project is one of several people really dedicated to taking care of the neighborhood they're in.

"I think everybody deserves to have a nice, clean neighborhood," says Denise Ennett, who lives in Pettaway.

"We have seven new construction houses going on right now. There are, I don't even know how many homes are being rehabilitated," says Mike Orndorff, Contractor.

People who live in the neighborhood are noticing the change.

"They're taking an interest and they are building up the infields and so it's helping us all," adds Ennett, who grew up in the neighborhood.

Back in the 90's, in the same house where she and her family live now, she says it was much different then.

"We had people break in the house and were stealing our cars all the time," she says,.

After being gone for 20 years she moved back in 2011.

"It was like a sanitized version of that and I was like OMG, it's so different over here," she continues.

Orndorff lives in the neighborhood that stretches from Main Street to Interstate 30. He has a vested interest in helping to improve it.

"It makes it easier for community to happen and this is a very tight-knit community," he adds.

Orndorff says the deforestation and urban sprawl in West Little Rock are unnecessary with thousands of empty lots in downtown.

"It doesn't make sense for us to continue to grow outward when there's all this stuff that's available right here," he says.

Since being back, Ennett realizes the value of the neighborhood a little bit more. She even got her house listed on the National Register of Historic Homes.

"This place holds a special place in my heart," she says.

Residents say the improvements made in the neighborhood have also had a significant impact on crime.

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