Can't Stop, Won't Stop

March 24, 2021

Community

$100,000 Grant Will Help Expand Food Pantry Operations in 2021

NWA Daily

The Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry and the Razorback Food Recovery Program (RFR) just recently received a $100K grant that will allow volunteers and organizers to expand food assistance services for U of A community members and residents.

  • Since the onset of the pandemic, the food pantry staff and volunteers have seen a huge uptick in monthly clients, forcing them to adapt to new restrictions and regulations. “On average, pre-COVID, (we were) helping about 750 household members a month... over the summer we were feeding on average between 1300 to 1400 people," said Food Drives Coordinator Briana Roden.
  • So it's safe to say the grant will be put to good use - part of it will be used to recruit AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America members to work in the pantry and the food recovery program. The additional funds will be invested in transportation and storage equipment.
  • The RFR launched a repackaging program in March 2020 that was put on halt, like many things, by the pandemic. Re-established during the 2020-21 school year, the repackaging program uses large portions of food recovered and divides it up into meals for families around the community.
  • "The grant is just going to help us grow even further and I’m just really excited about where things are planned. And in a year or two, I think we got some pretty big things on the plate,” said McCoy. -The Arkansas Traveler

You can read the full story HERE

Real Estate

Housing Demand in NWA

NWA Daily

NWA is experiencing unprecedented growth, which is great for the region. This strong population growth has led to rapid home price appreciation in the area. While rising home values are generally good for homeowners, they can become a challenge for those who are not yet homeowners.

  • “Household income growth is not keeping pace with rising rent and homeownership costs, and so we’re trying to find ways that as the region continues to grow, we can ensure that all residents have access to stable and affordable homes,” said Jeremy Pate, senior program officer for the Walton Family Foundation. -Talk Business & Politics

  • "The average area home costs $345,765; however, less than 20% of households here can qualify for a mortgage for a home at that price," based on a recent study from the National Association of Home Builders.

  • To meet demand and also provide affordable options by 2040, NWA "would need to add nearly 2,900 homes annually." Over the same period of time, the region needs to add at least 18,000 rental units to meet the demand of lower income families.

How might this impact younger generations? According to a recent study, Generation Z is now the fastest-growing renter segment in the United States, contributing to a 31% increase in apartment lease applications in Arkansas last year.

  • According to the report, Little Rock and North Little Rock had the second and third highest increase in Gen Z rental applications nationwide last year - the applications increased by 70% and 63%, respectively. -Talk Business & Politics

  • Although Millennials still make up the largest share of renters at 48%, Gen Z follows closely behind at 22%. From 2019 to 2020, Gen Z rental applications rose by 36%. But Gen Z and Millennials couldn't be more different when it comes to location. The locations preferred by Gen Z are small cities in the heartland, the Midwest and the South.

The full report and more can be found HERE.

Entertainment

It Feels Like 2020 Déjà Vu

NWA Daily (Walmart AMP; Rogers)

We've been in denial, but the Walmart AMP announced Kenny Chesney will not be performing this summer as previously scheduled. In fact, several events at the Walmart AMP have either been canceled, rescheduled, or postponed altogether. Whew, that was a tough band-aid to rip off.

  • Kenny Chesney's Chillaxification 2020 tour with Michael Franti & Spearhead was originally postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rescheduled for June 11, 2021. All tickets purchased will be fully refunded, according to Walmart AMP. -KNWA/Fox24

  • So what shows will go on? While most have been rescheduled, Jason Aldean's We Back Tour 2020 is set to take the stage on July 31, and Lady Antebellum with Jake Owen will headline on Aug. 27. -5 News
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Visit HERE for the fully updated AMP concert schedule.

Development

The Many Projects at Pinnacle

NWA Daily (Hunt Tower; Rogers)

Progress slowed, but never halted for the developers in and around Pinnacle Hills in Rogers. Several developments are underway with a few expected to be completed over the next few months. Here is what we know...

  • Pinnacle Heights, a multi-use development property in Rogers, is well on its way to completion and revolutionizing the work-from-home lifestyle. The housing part of Pinnacle Heights has nearly 300 apartment units for rent and features 11 spaces where residents can live and operate businesses.

  • The property boasts a pool, gym, business center, dog park and space for up to five food trucks. About 240 apartments and nine live-and-work spaces are still up for grabs. Rent ranges from $1,000 to $1,800 monthly, according to Sabrina Roper, regional property manager, and Shaun Steele, property manager.

  • Five businesses, including a hair salon and a financial services business will be opening up shop on the property, Allen said. The property also has room for 30 commercial spaces, Steele mentioned. -NWA Democrat-Gazette

  • In addition, Hilton Hotels purchased a portion of the land and plans to build a "Tapestry by Hilton" boutique hotel there.

  • In the area, construction on One Uptown will be finished in a few weeks, and Pinnacle Village (a project that will include housing, offices, retail space, a hotel and amenities such as a dog park) is underway, along with Founders Plaza.

  • Developers are also negotiating with a "high-end hotel group" to buy some of the property and build a hotel, said Pinnacle Hills Project Developer Alex Blass. -NWA Democrat-Gazette

Interested in learning more? You can read the full article HERE

Sports

Lady Hogs Fall in First Round of NCAA Tourney

NWA Daily

The Arkansas Women's Basketball team took a hard loss to Wright State yesterday (March, 22) in the first round of the NCAA tournament in San Antonio. Wright State, a 13 seed, had only been to the NCAA tournament two other times in school history. However, despite this loss, this Lady Razorbacks team may go down as one of the best ever.

  • The Razorbacks struggled to make up for a slow start, putting themselves in a hole too deep to dig out. The Hogs' were only able to score 12 points in the first quarter, contributing to a season-low 26 points in the first half shooting only 2-12 from 3 point range the first half.

  • The Hogs fired back in the second half, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter. Chelsea Dungee was the leading scorer with 27 points. At the end of the day, Arkansas shot 34% from the field and was out-rebounded 44-30. Head Coach Mike Neighbors said, "Wright State was clearly the better team from tip to buzzer."

  • Arkansas eventually fell to Wright State 66-62, ending the season 19-9 and scoring the program’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 2015. -Arkansas Razorbacks

Heading into this year's tournament, 13-seeds were 9-104 all time.

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