Michael Orndorff, the developer who has been changing the face of the Pettaway neighborhood east of Main Street, has shared drawings of his plans to create a commercial district along the once-gang-plagued 21st Street.

The Downtown Little Rock CDC, meanwhile, will work with Clinton School for Public Service students this fall to do a “community asset survey” in Pettaway to determine, as CDC head Adam Fogleman said, “the talents and interests of people in the area … to foster and grow the community.” The students will both design and conduct the survey.

Orndorff, who is breaking ground on five houses on 20th street between Rock and Commerce this week, hopes to start next year on the first 21st street phase, identified as The Courtyard. The Courtyard, at the northwest corner of Rock and 21st, is envisioned as an L-shaped, two-story 5,850-square-foot building that would house three to four apartments on the second floor and a restaurant and coffee shop on the first floor.

Taggart Architects
The Courtyard, in drawings by Taggart Architects.

Future developments would include “nano” units of 400 square feet and larger 800 square foot units for business startups as well as additional residential units. Orndorff also hopes to attract a farmers market to the area.

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One possible commercial development would be a cooperative laundromat, Fogleman said. The neighborhoods east and west of South Main have lost the only convenient laundromat to a retail/apartment development under construction in the 1400 block of Main. Law students working in the William H. Bowen School of Law’s Business Innovations Legal Clinic are working on a template for use down the road to establishing the cooperative.

Orndorff will apply for a planned commercial development permit from the city for the development. The residential houses on 20th Street are being built by Orndorff’s Lorax LLC; two will be priced under $200,000, two under $170,000 and one will be an affordable rental.