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T’s not crossed on home for girls: Old LR building’s rehab up for vote
Published, July 7, 2013 in Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Claudia Lauer and Chad Day
An excerpt from published article
On a visionary’s blueprints, an abandoned Little Rock high-rise transforms easily into a home for nearly 100 pregnant teens.
Julius James Larry III, a 63 year-old casket company owner from Houston, says the planned Ida B. Wells Home for Pregnant Girls is a calling from God that he received when diagnosed with cancer three years ago.
But community resistance critical state officials and the felony background of Larry, who is promoting the project, make for a complicated proposal that is to go before the Little Rock Planning Commission on Thursday.
Residents near the proposed site are concerned about whether Larry and his partners can follow through on their promise to rehabilitate the former Job Corps building on Vance Street, an eyesore full of asbestos and mold that has been vacant more than five years.
Arkansas Department of Human Services officials say Larry’s involvement and felony theft conviction jeopardize the part of the plan that calls for the state to allow – and pay a per day rate for – teens in foster care to live in the girls home.
The state also isn’t sold on how the home would operate.
Notice of Public Hearing, 4pm Thursday, May 30th at Little Rock City Hall — Planning Commission to hear Paradise Group LLC proposed Planning Zoning Development – Public invited and encouraged to attend
Please note a Public Hearing on the Paradise Group LLC proposed Planned Zoning Development will take place 4pm, Thursday, May 30, 2013 at the Board of Directors Chamber, Second Floor, City Hall. Please attend your support is needed.
The following letter outlining Pettaway Neighborhood Association opposition to the Paradise Group LLC Planned Zoning Development (2020 Vance Street, Little Rock – formerly the Job Corps Building and Red Carpet Inn) was to submitted Little Rock Planning Commission.
Little Rock Planning Commission
Department of Planning and Development
City of Little Rock
723 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
re: Pettaway community opposition to Paradise Group LLC Planned Zoning Development (2020 Vance Street, Little Rock)
The Pettaway Neighborhood Association (PNA) voted at its May 16, 2013 association meeting to oppose the Paradise Group LLC application for a planned zoning development request for change of classification from C-3 District to PZD as submitted.
The community’s major concern regarding the Paradise Group LLC planned zoning development is sustainability.
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.
For these reasons, we reject the Paradise Group LLC proposed planned development and subsequent request for change of zoning classification as submitted.
Pettaway Neighborhood Association
Notice of Public Hearing, 4pm, May 30th regarding the Paradise Group redevelopment of the Old Job Corps Bldg/202 Vance Street
To ALL owners of land lying within 200 feet of the boundary of the property located at:
Address: 2020 Vance Street/Old Job Corps Bldg.
General Location: Little Rock, AR
Owned by: Paradise Group, LLC
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT an application for a Planned Zoning Development of the above property requesting a change of classification from C-3 District to PZD has been filed with the Department of Planning and Development. A public hearing on said application will be held by the Little Rock Planning Commission in the Board of Directors Chamber, Second Floor, City Hall, on May 30, 2013, at 1800/4 p.m.
ALL PARTIES IN INTEREST MAY APPEAR and be heard at said time and place, or may notify Planning Commission of their views on this matter by letter. All persons interested in this request are invited to call or visit the Department of Planning and Development, 723 W. Markham, 501.371.4790, and to review the application and discuss same with the Planning staff.
Click link (below) to read Ida B. Wells Home For Pregnant Girls Project Submission.
Pettaway Neighborhood Community Forum to discuss the Ida B. Wells Home for Pregnant Girls a proposed plan for Job Corps Building
When: 10:30 am, Saturday, March 2, 2013
Where: Media Room, Winthrop Rockefeller Elementary
and Early Childhood Magnet
700 East 17th Street, Little Rock, AR 72206
Purpose: Ida B. Wells Home For Pregnant Girls | A proposed plan for the old Job Corps Building (Corner of
Vance and East 21st Streets)
The Pettaway Neighborhood Association is hosting a community forum to discuss a proposal for the Job Corps Building located on the corner of Vance and East 21st Streets. Click here for a copy of the proposed mission statement/plan for the site: Ida B. Wells Home For Pregnant Girls.
The Ida B. Wells Home For Pregnant Girls is sponsored by Paradise Victory Cathedral World Ministries, a Texas Non-Profit corporation. It is an Arkansas Non-Profit Corporation whose mission is to provide a safe harbor, love, room and board and upward mobility for pregnant teens regardless of race, creed, color or religion. The faith-based mission of the Ida B. Wells Home is accomplished through the Daisy Bates “Bridge to the Future” Program.
Come, learn, ask questions and express your opinions. We look forward to seeing you.
Pettaway N.A. Meeting Thursday, February 21st, 6pm to discuss plans for Job Corps building with potential new owners
Pettaway N.A. will have it’s monthly Association meeting, 6pm, Thursday, February 21, 2013 at the East Broadway Alert Center (500 East 21st Street at Commerce Street). At this meeting Dr. Julius Larry III, representative for The Paradise Group LLC/Paradise Victory Cathedral World Ministries (Houston, TX) will their plan (Ida B. Wells Home For Pregnant Girls) for the old Job Corps Building. Currently, a sign affixed on the building states “sale pending” for the property. Come hear and share your thoughts regarding the potential new owners of the Job Corps building and their plan for it as well as other news and happenings in the community.
We look forward to seeing you.