Welcome to 2017! I for one am thankful for 2016, yet pretty glad to have it in the rear-view mirror. And as I am prone to say, if you are busy looking in the rear-view mirror you are likely to wreck on what is in front of you. Thanks to all of you who commented on enjoying this column. That’s nice to hear, even if you were just being polite. And thank you to all of you who read each month, or even just some months. The column is certainly more interesting some months than other months. It’s all about what’s happening. Sometimes things are a little slow. The holidays tend to be one of those times. In fact, being that things were a little slow, our little family took off to Keystone, Colo. right after Christmas. With a little guidance from “Coach Kevin” (If you go, ask for Kevin. He’s a treat.) my fearless daughter polished her skills and was a speed demon down the mountain. She was kind enough to stop every once in a while and give her old dad a break. You have to love it when an 8-year old tells you “Break is over. Let’s go!” We hope you and your families enjoyed your holidays as much as we did.
It isn’t really news that McLarty Auto Group purchased the North Point automobile dealerships. I thought though that you might be as interested as I was in the value of each of the properties. The North Point Toyota property weighed in at $12,100,000. North Point Ford, with the Fleet Services building, brought $14,400,000. The new BMW of Little Rock location fetched a tidy $12,000,000. And $3,000,000 for the Collision Center rounded out the group at a total of $41,500,000.
In other old news, Allied Bank, at the northeast corner of Cantrell and Kavanaugh, closed. The trials and tribulations of Allied have been well documented by other sources. Those that have mined Allied’s troubles for plenty of grist were quick to report the sale of that corner to First Community Bank, for $850,000. A fair portion of the value there, in my opinion, has to be attributed to the visibility of the corner, because accessibility is truly an impediment to the value, and to the operation of the bank itself.
Going west on Cantrell Road, the former Wendy’s at 7312 Cantrell Road sold last month for $652,000. The buyer is MOMI Investment, LLC. MOMI operates under the name of Cantrell Wines & Spirits. I’m going to take a leap of logic and suppose that the drive-thru window built for hamburgers and fries might be just as useful for the sale of whiskey and beer. As a bonus tidbit in the spirits business, Salute Liquor at 10700 W. Markham Street, across the street from the W. Markham Street Wendy’s, sold for $450,000.
To the disappointment of many, especially pie lovers like me, Chip’s BBQ on West Markham closed last year. Chip’s was a mainstay of Markham Square shopping center. Other restaurants and retailers had leap-frogged that stretch of West Markham over the years. A while back some generic “for lease” signs went up in front of the former Chip’s location, advertising several suites available in the shopping center. The center sold right at the beginning of December for $1,850,000. With a GLA (gross leasable area) of around 32,000 or 33,000 square feet, that translates into a price per square foot in the mid-$50s to low-$60s range. Why the ranges? Two reasons. One is that the building area varies in sources I reviewed. The other reason, as I told an architect last week, is that if three architects measure a building they’ll give you five answers, at least.
A while back this column noted the assemblage of land for a CVS Pharmacy at the corner of Baseline Road and Geyer Springs Road. The construction has been completed, the pharmacy is a going concern, and an investor paid $5,717,000 for the opportunity to own the property as a net-lease investment.
Next door to the CVS Pharmacy on University Avenue, at the intersection with 12th Street, is a tract of land that was the remainder after the Brandon House Furniture building was demolished and CVS & Staybridge Suites bought lots. The remaining lot is 60,880 square feet and sold for $700,000, to You Scream Properties University. Other sources have identified the buyer’s planned use of the property to be a DQ Grill & Chill. I don’t have any information on the site work cost for this lot or the CVS lot. The retaining wall between the two, leaves DQ looking over the top of CVS. A well-lit sign will make the location nicely visible from the intersection.
In the coming soon (or maybe not) department, we’ve heard conflicting reports as to the immediacy of construction on the widening of Interstate 630 from the Big Rock Intersection improvements to the intersection with University Avenue. It’s still coming. The question is when will construction start and end. I imagine that, like 30 Crossing, there will be some folks who “Prairie Dog” last minute with much concern that they had not been fully informed of the project. Many of you know my opinion on this is that sitting around with your head in the sand while others work to address issues, and then suddenly questioning years of work is just plain rude, among other things. And that if the City of Little Rock would do a better job of addressing the issues causing so many people to choose to live in the surrounding communities, then there would be less traffic volume, resulting in less rush-hour congestion and less need to widen highways. You know the issues. They aren’t new. And wider highways won’t fix them.
Tips and suggestions, well most of them anyway, are appreciated. Hope you found something interesting in the column this month. Check back again next month for the things that didn’t get included here this time and that pop up between now and then.