Who We Are

Argenta CDC’s mission is to improve the economic vitality, quality of life, and sense of community in targeted neighborhoods through the development of quality housing, the promotion of homeownership and the stimulation of economic growth. We have five areas of focus:

  • Single-family and multi-family housing development
  • Commercial property development
  • A building “green” initiative
  • NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Center
  • Community development and outreach

Our History

During the late 1980s and early 90s, downtown North Little Rock was plagued by high crime. Historic homes deteriorated; property values plummeted; residents and shopkeepers lived in fear. Many homeowners fled the area. In 1992, those residents and property owners who remained organized the Argenta Community Development Corporation to take back their neighborhood. Community members firmly believed that home ownership would serve as a catalyst for neighborhood improvement and began strategizing about how best to promote the area as attractive to prospective homeowners.

Argenta CDC’s resident organizers and founding board members did not possess community development expertise, but they were deliberate in the alliances they formed. They solicited support from city leaders, law enforcement officials, bankers, business owners, legal professionals, and others to create a winning team. This type of ground-level interaction continues today and Argenta has capitalized on this history to build a formidable alliance.

To date we have renovated and constructed over 162 residential and commercial properties including a 56-unit apartment complex investing over $15 million in downtown North Little Rock’s in renewal efforts. Through the work of the North Little Rock History Commisson, the Argenta Neighborhood was designated as National Register Historic District in 1993. Since the reformation, property values have soared more than 200%, the crime rate is one of the lowest in North Little Rock and the Main Street areas has evolved into an economic and residential attraction.

Argenta CDC was one of 6 programs in United States selected by HUD in 1999 to receive the prestigious “Innovations in Community Development Award.” In accepting the award on behalf of the CDC, North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays stated, “A strong partner in progress, Argenta CDC was an early and essential revitalization force for the downtown neighborhoods of North Little Rock. We are proud to be a part of such a strong and productive partnership.” In 2002 Argenta CDC earned a prestigious National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Our revitalization work in Argenta has served as a blueprint for other development projects in the nearby fragile Holt Neighborhood in North Little Rock. We began transforming the landscape there in 2001 at the request of the Gardner United Methodist Church, a neighborhood church that saw the challenges of crime and decayed housing facing Holt. After more than 20 renovated and newly constructed homes and more on the way, we are proud of this $2 million investment and the beginnings of a reformed neighborhood.

In 1998 we expanded our scope of services and became a certified NeighborWorks® America homeownership center. The Argenta NeighborWorks® Home Ownership Center provides the full range of services needed to purchase and maintain a home. Since its inception we have had over to 3000 program graduates and referred more than $40,400,000 in mortgage loans for closing to lenders.

Summer 2007 brought the launch a new home construction program, Building Green. In partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council-Arkansas Chapter, Argenta CDC has constructed four affordable homes that conserve energy and natural resources, reduce indoor air pollution, shrink utility bills and reduce home maintenance costs. Five more affordable green homes are in the pipeline for construction.

In 2008 Argenta CDC earned Gold LEED-H® from the U.S.G.B.C. for our sustainable building practices. Our “green” homes were the first residential structures in Arkansas to earn a LEED-H® designation. Launched as a pilot program in 2005, LEED-H® is a green home ratings system with rankings from certified to platinum that assures residents their homes are designed and built to be energy and resource efficient and provide better indoor air quality. All homes in the Building Green initiative are expected to earn a LEED-H® certification.

Argenta CDC seeks ways to include residents, corporate and government partners in our mission. We complement our core program areas by forming and engaging citizen action committees, promoting areas businesses, sponsoring events and forums, and being a resource and mentor for other organizations who share our goal of rebuilding communities.