What is it that makes a place? Is it the history? The people? The uniqueness of the architecture? It is all of those things and so much more. East Village is the brainchild of two local Little Rock companies that have been committed to the success of our community since their inceptions- a collective 160 years in this city. Cromwell Architects Engineers and Newmark Moses Tucker Partners started on this journey to create one of the greatest places in Central Arkansas in 2015 when one of the best examples of post-war industrial architecture became available for purchase. What followed was the creation of an idea that is East Village - a place that represents all of the greatness of our town. Once home to Stebbins and Roberts, and later Sterling Paint, the Paint Factory is the centerpiece of the neighborhood revitalization and redevelopment.
The complex is the world headquarters for Cromwell, and also includes 16 apartments (Twelve Star Flats), Cathead's Diner, printshop and Community Room. East Village exists as the oldest remaining industrial complex in the city and perhaps in the entire state. The neighborhoods that developed around it represent some of the best examples of Craftsman style architecture in Little Rock. One of the main focuses of Cromwell's work in the East Village is to reconnect these neighborhoods and businesses with the rest of Little Rock. The residential areas, and the people who live in them and work nearby, are the backbone of the community - past, present, and future.
Forty years ago, when Cromwell built their building at Markham and Spring Streets, the area was in need of a major redevelopment effort. The Cromwell Building helped spur the rebirth of Little Rock's Convention District and drove the development of the Camelot Hotel (now DoubleTree Hotel), Excelsior (now Marriott Hotel), Stephens Building, Capital Hotel, Old State House Museum, Chamber Center, Convention Center, Riverfront Park, and the redevelopment of Robinson Auditorium into a world-class performance hall and conference center. Redeveloping the Paint Factory into a mixed-use space will ignite growth in an area that has been under utilized and disconnected from the rest of downtown Little Rock for years. Inspiring change and fostering community growth on all levels is in Cromwell's DNA as a company. It is the driving force behind the company and now it is time to follow the example that Mr. Cromwell set in the 1970’s.
The success of a neighborhood like East Village is dependent on diversity throughout its community. We want to embrace the spirit of that old industrial part of Little Rock and retain the history and quality of what was built there in the late 1800’s into the mid 1900's. We want to foster creativity and interaction between neighbors and local businesses in order to help this area grow. We want to create new jobs and see people living nearby taking advantage of new opportunities.
This is definitely not just about a building. This is about the future. This is about bringing new life and commerce to one of the most unique areas of our city while embracing the authenticity and grit that comes with it. This is about rebuilding and revitalization. This is about growth and sustainment. This is about connecting neighbors and partnerships. This is about growing together, taking risks, challenging each other, and investing in our community. This is about creating a great Place for our City.
Welcome to East Village.