Advertisement
Your Business

Best Value Cities 2011:7. Little Rock, Ark.

The Clinton Library and big corporate projects bolster a strong economy.

Revving Little Rock’s job market is a diverse economy, including a 500-employee Caterpillar factory in North Little Rock, the headquarters of IT company Acxiom, and world-class medical centers. The completion of the Clinton Presidential Library in 2004 sparked a downtown renaissance. The city was cushioned from the recession somewhat by more than $1 billion in new corporate investments in 2007 and 2008, during which unemployment remained just below 8%.

VIDEO: Take a virtual walking tour of Little Rock.

Why It's Affordable

Advertisement - Article continues below

You can find value right outside your door. The Arkansas River cuts through the region, and it’s lined with bike and running paths and highlighted by the 4,226-foot-long Big Dam Bridge, built for pedestrians.

Sarkis Nazarian, an ophthalmologist who has lived in Little Rock for 26 years, praises the “sheer beauty of the natural surroundings.” Hunting, fishing and hiking are short drives away. Survive the sizzling summer heat and you’ll be rewarded with mild winters.

Housing prices are low, and Little Rock managed to avoid the extremes of the real estate bubble. Downtown condos have sprouted up in the past decade, but with hardly any traffic, living outside the city center is easy. You can buy a 2,400-square-foot, four-bedroom home in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood for $245,000.

Why It's Fun

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

There’s a trendy arts scene, and downtown has many options for fine dining and local music. Small-town amenities abound, such as a minor league baseball team, the Arkansas Travelers (tickets cost $6). In Argenta, a cozy neighborhood in North Little Rock, it’s easy to find local artists at work and live musicians strumming away. Every third Friday night, dozens of artists line Main Street, turning the sidewalks into a lively gathering of art, wine and food. Plans for future growth include the completion of another pedestrian bridge that will create a 14-mile loop, bringing the river trail full-circle.

SLIDE SHOW: See the Top 10 Best Value Cities

Advertisement

Most Popular

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)

Between due dates for paying estimated taxes, IRA or HSA contributions, and other deadlines, there's more to do by July 15 than just filing your feder…
July 14, 2020
65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On
stocks

65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

These 65 Dividend Aristocrats are an elite group of dividend stocks that have reliably increased their annual payouts every year for at least a quarte…
July 8, 2020
Tax Day 2020: When's the Last Day to File Taxes?
tax deadline

Tax Day 2020: When's the Last Day to File Taxes?

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 tax deadline was pushed back to give taxpayers (and tax preparers) more time to file returns.
July 14, 2020

Recommended

Nursing in the Time of COVID-19
Financial Planning

Nursing in the Time of COVID-19

This health care professional warns that the pandemic will worsen the nursing shortage.
July 2, 2020
Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally
careers

Chiropractor Trying to Get Business the Wrong Way – Illegally

A new chiropractor’s fledgling business plan to attract patients may sound reasonable at first look, but it’s actually against the law, and the same p…
June 30, 2020
13 Tax Breaks for Homeowners and Home Buyers
income tax

13 Tax Breaks for Homeowners and Home Buyers

Owning (or buying) a home is expensive. But at least there are some tax deductions, credits, and exclusions that can help you recoup some of those cos…
June 22, 2020
12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do
real estate

12 Things Every Home Buyer Should Do

Buying a home may be one of the biggest purchases you will ever make.
June 12, 2020