River Market

Markham and Rock Streets
Little Rock, AR

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

The market is the centerpiece of an ambitious downtown renewal area; its setting along the Arkansas River adds a wonderful ambience.

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Why It Works

Opened in 1996, the 15,000 square-foot indoor market hall, with its 40-foot vaulted roof and skylight, is home to 16 merchants, including a butcher, baker, newsstand, florist, deli, spice vendor, coffee shop and prepared food stalls. The farmers set up in two large open-sided pavilions adjacent to the market. This place is the centerpiece of an ambitious downtown renewal area along the Arkansas River that includes an art museum, library, convention center expansion, and the redevelopment of old warehouse buildings into offices and apartments.

History & Background

A longstanding and popular farmers market in downtown Little Rock operated out of an old parking garage; the farmers were approached and agreed to relocate, thus becoming the focal point of the new market. The River Market was built with funds from HUD and a 1995 bond issue, as well as grants from foundations. The total project cost for the river renewal area is $108 million. The total cost of the Market itself was close to $4 million. The Market is owned by the city of Little Rock and managed by the Downtown Partnership, a voluntary, non-profit association with a full-time paid staff.

Contact Info:

Parks and Recreation Department: 501-371-4770

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