Midtown continues growth with new $12 million library

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - It was only a few years ago that Midtown was home to a struggling mall and abandoned stores. Now the area is booming with dozens of businesses. Recently developers announced the grand opening of it's latest project, a multi-million dollar library.

"I think it's huge," said Lisa Gann, a local resident.

It's the talk of Midtown. Over the past several years restaurants and shops having been popping up in the once struggling area.

"I think it's great for the community," said Dina Sturd, also a local resident. "Because things had kind of become stale," she said.

But things are far from stale now that the area is home to over two dozen mostly high-end stores.

"With all the shops that we have people come from out-of-town just to go to these specific shops," said Shannon Defoor, Manager at Jackson Salon in Midtown.

More shops means more traffic and business owners couldn't be happier.

"I love that that's good for my business we need more heads," said Jackson Tester, Owner of Jackson Salon.

The Midtown development initiative, which is behind all of these changes, recently finished constructing the latest addition to their project. The new $12 million children's library at the edge of Midtown.

"It just creates a great place for kids to come with their families and, of course, enjoy the library," said Stacy Hurst, Little Rock City Director.

Hurst says there's a reason developers have been investing so much into the Midtown area and will continue to do so.

"Our downtown is doing great our west Little Rock is healthy and growing and we need to protect Midtown and make sure that it is safe and healthy," said Hurst.

As for the support, residents seem more than happy to open their doors to more growth.

"From here to Cantrell it can fill up with new businesses we would love that," said Tester.

The new library is set to open Saturday the 16th.