Skip to main content

Downtown receives attention

Posted Date: 05/04/2024

Downtown receives attention

We've recently partnered with the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District (NWAEDD) and received a grant to partner with Retail Strategies Inc., to assess our downtown. We're excited about the potential benefits.

At a recent stakeholder meeting, we had more than 80 attendees who provided valuable feedback and insights. Retail Strategies Inc. presented findings from a survey with more than 500 responses, which we'll receive in June.

We also conducted a walk audit, identifying opportunities for improvement. It's encouraging to see our community actively engaged, with local retailers eager to contribute.

Although the loss of restaurant/brewery corner spot was significant, we're exploring opportunities for smaller eateries, which could enhance our community even further. With Creekside set to open soon, we anticipate growth in both the dining and boutique sectors.

Despite the current bridge closure, we're planning pedestrian-friendly initiatives to attract more foot traffic. Additionally,

we are anxious to hear from an owner who is considering adding sprinkler systems to accommodate living spaces on upper floors so we can get closer to identifying the cost.

The City and County have met with some property owners about enhancing the area with better lighting. The updated globes and new lighting have improved the entire square, on both the city and county sides of downtown.

Our "Beautify Main Street" project aims to enhance the downtown area. For three years the city has budgeted $100,000 plus annually for this project. This will improve sidewalks with benches, trees, and a unique watering system for the greenery. The new lighting will be similar to the new lighting on the bridge. This year, the improvements will begin at Frenzy and go two blocks north on Main Street, enhancing the entrance to downtown.

As Creekside development progresses, we're optimistic about attracting both people and businesses to the area. Tournaments scheduled for next year are expected to draw visitors, benefiting local businesses. With exciting prospects like senior Pickleball tournaments on the horizon, there's a lot of momentum for revitalizing downtown Harrison.

I have traveled to numerous cities throughout Arkansas. In my opinion, we have the most beautiful square. This distinction brings great responsibility. We look forward to the positive changes and opportunities we see happening in that area.