City Leaders Debate New Mapco Location in Little Rock

City Leaders Debate New Mapco Location in Little Rock

A controversial plan to build a new gas station in the heart of downtown Little Rock is up for a vote tonight. Developers would like to place the convenience store on the corner of 3rd and Broadway.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - As traffic swirls around this vacant building on 3rd and Broadway, so do mixed opinions about what could possibly take it's place.

A Mapco gas station.

"It would be good for traffic. We need a gas station closer to this side," says Cassandra Kallestewa.

While some are excited about the convenience, for others,

"They call them stop and robs for a reason," says Deputy County Prosecutor John Johnson.

The term convenience store conjures concerns over criminal activity.

"I don't like the thought of it, sometimes we walk late, I don't want to walk out at night by myself," says Patricia Bettis.

Like others who work nearby John Johnson from the County Prosecutors Office worries the added traffic could jeopardize safety and the view.

"This particular location we are about to spend a bunch of money on the bridge coming into Little Rock you would think the city could come up with something more welcoming than a gas station," Johnson.

For Mapco to move in, directors would have to approve a zoning change.

Naysayers argue development should support the current "urban use zoning" designed to promote pedestrian friendliness and a walkable working environment.

"We believe in investment and jobs we just think corner of 3rd and Broadway is not the best place to put a gas station. It's not keeping with the civic corridor," says Sharon Priest, Executive Director of Downtown Little Rock partnership.

Despite strong objections and letters from the county judge's office Mapco's possible neighbor, the planning commission gave the project the green light.

After delaying their vote, city leaders have their say Tuesday.

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