By Joel Phelps
A crowd of about 50 community leaders gathered on a chilly Friday morning at the site of what is being lauded as the next step for a growth spurt for Arkadelphia.
At the groundbreaking ceremony for North Ridge Estates, located at Gorman Loop off of Country Club Road, those responsible for the 90-acre subdivision spoke.
Arkadelphia Assistant Mayor Roland Gosey called it an “historic groundbreaking” and thanked Mill Creek Investors, LLC, and the other partners for making it happen. “This day would not have one to fruition if it had not been for the hard work and vision” of those involved, Gosey said. “What a great addition to the city and community.” Adding a quote from Benjamin Franklin, he said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as achievement, improvement and success have no meaning.”
Nicky Goff, who’s partnered with Kyle Smith in Mill Creek Investors, said it’s taken “quite a while in getting to this point. Nothing’s ever easy, and we had a couple of small hurdles to overcome.” Goff thanked those in the crowd — many of them, he said, were instrumental in making North Ridge a reality.
“We hope it’s the beginning of a new growth in Arkadelphia,” Goff added. “There’s a lot of people commute that daily from surrounding communities, and we’re going to do our part to try to put a product out here to make everybody want to be a part” of Arkadelphia’s success.
North Ridge Estates will be the first of a two-phase housing subdivision; South Ridge Crossing will be the second.
Arkadelphia City Manager Gary Brinkley said the subdivision increases the city limits, noting water and sewer utilities will be an addition to the subdivision. Brinkley said housing has been a hurdle for Arkadelphia’s growth. “We knew when we first got here we had a gap: we didn’t have enough inventory for people that wanted to live in Arkadelphia,” he said. “Nicky and his group are going to fix that problem for us. … Positive people make positive things happen.”
Kim Byrd, principle broker at Crye Leike Pro Elite Realty, called Friday’s groundbreaking a “monumental occasion.” Byrd noted she recently served on a legislative committee and legislators predicted Arkadelphia would be next in line for growth, like Benton and other cities south of Little Rock. “With the interstate, waterways, railroads and so much more Arkadelphia has to offer, I believe we can achieve that status,” Byrd said. “However, we are in desperate need of housing to support any kind of growth.”
Byrd quoted Walt Disney, the original “Imagineer”: “‘The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.’ That’s exactly what Nicky and Kyle did when they took their thoughts and ideas and established their dream team which led us here today.”
Shelley Loe, vice president of commercial lending at Citizens Bank, also applauded Goff and Smith for their dedication to seeing their idea come to fruition. Loe referenced the Clark County Strategic Plan’s outlines of housing needs. Loe noted that many people who work in Arkadelphia live in Benton, Bryant or Hot Springs. With the addition of more housing in Arkadelphia, Loe said the community will be poised for growth:
“This is exactly what we need.”