The Pettaway Neighborhood Association is organizing opposition for a proposal before the Little Rock Planning Commission May 30 to convert the abandoned Job Corps Center building at 20th and Vance along I-30 to a home for pregnant teens.
Its letter objecting to a rezoning plan says, in part:
At a public forum held at Winthrop Rockefeller Elementary and Early Childhood Magnet School on March 2, 2013, residents asked Paradise Group LLC to share their business and community engagement plan. To date the Paradise Group LLC has failed to share their solid business and community engagement plan with our community the very place where this proposed planned development will be housed. We know of no letters or confirmed intent of support from Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) or Transitional Youth Services (TYS) or any other organizations or entities that would directly impact the specific services being provided to these pregnant teens.
Presently, the property at 2020 Vance Street has remained vacant and a nuisance for a number of years. This boarded and dilapidated historic structure is visible from Interstate 30 and has proved to be a hardship for those residents whose homes are in close proximity to this structure.
It has been the expressed wish of the PNA that the structure be demolished. However, if the structure is to be rehabilitated, the PNA requests proof that the proprietors have a solid business and community engagement plan to ensure the sustainability of whatever business is housed in this particular structure.
The Pettaway community along with MacArthur Park Historic District and the Main Street corridor is experiencing growth. People are moving in, buying vacant lots, restoring older historic homes, and building new structures. This growth is directly related to the sustained community effort to embrace community by making it safe, clean and supporting one another in our desire to live in a vibrant downtown. As much as the residents would like a positive and effective planned development at 2020 Vance Street (like the new Children’s Library in the 12th Street corridor) we want to make sure that the property is not left vacant again after a short period of use.