Without question, Little Rock is a beautiful city, with older, traditional neighborhoods as well as exciting new areas. And its growth over the past 30 years has been primarily towards the west.
In the late 1980s, Deltic Farm & Timber, one of the largest land owners in Pulaski County, owned approximately 7,000 acres near Shinall Mountain (spelled with an “s”), which lies between Highway 10 to the north and Kanis Road to its south. Deltic Farm & Timber was founded many years ago by the Murphy Oil family from El Dorado, Arkansas.
In the mid-80s, Charles H. “Chip” Murphy III had a vision for this land that had previously been used exclusively for timber production and small cattle ranches. He believed the hills and green forests could provide a spectacular backdrop for new neighborhoods within a growing city. This is where Chenal Valley (spelled with a “c”) was conceived.
One of Chenal Valley’s big advantages was the sole ownership of such a large piece of land. This allowed for comprehensive planning over time – an impossibility when many different interests and developers are in play. A special improvement bond was passed in June, 1986, to fund a new east/west road – Chenal Parkway – which paved the way for the development of what would become Chenal Valley.
The new Chenal Parkway would extend from the western end of I-630 to the west and north, connecting with Cantrell Road across from Highway 300. It is from within this area that Chenal Valley would take shape.
Early on, it was decided that a major amenity was needed for Chenal Valley, and Chenal Country Club was planned and built. Around the new Club, the first residential neighborhood, Chenal Circle, was developed, surrounded by some of the nicest homes and mansions in Little Rock, most situated on the golf course of the new Club.
The second and third Chenal neighborhoods were built concurrently – DuClair Court, featuring smaller but very nice homes, and Fontenay Circle, larger homes but not quite as exclusive as those located on Chenal Circle. Other neighborhoods – ranging from $1 Million plus home to those starting in the $200,000s, continued to be developed over the years and now extend further to the west, almost to Ferndale.
One of the great things about Chenal Valley is that it offers many neighborhoods – each offering its own personality – and that Chenal’s suburban or county setting, surrounded by rolling hills, is only about 12 minutes from mid-town and about 20 minutes from downtown.
Thirty five years after its inception, Chenal Valley’s neighborhoods are maturing beautifully. Each neighborhood has been carefully planned and landscaped to retain many trees and green areas. Many offer views of the beautiful, surrounding hills, and neighborhood parks and pools abound.
Premier shopping areas, such as the Promenade Center, offer the finest stores, brands and products available. In addition to leading edge retail, such as the Apple store, you’ll also find many locally-owned restaurants and shops in Chenal. Several churches and schools round out the Chenal living experience.
If a more modern home in a newer part of town appeals to you, Chenal Valley deserves your attention. There is so much there to love!