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  • As printed in the Daily Record

Tax Reform

Hear ye! Hear ye! The end of the world may be nigh! Or so some are saying. You see, coming this summer is to be “Tax Reform.” If you were in the business for the Tax Reform Act of 1986, you already know what a life-changing event tax reform can be. If you, like me, were not old enough to be in the business that long ago, seek out some of the commercial real estate professionals, tax attorneys, accountants and bankers that were in the business before and after 1986.

I just spent two days in Chicago at a conference. THE primary topic was the pending tax reform. This column isn’t the place, or enough space, for an effort to address all the possible elements of the existing tax laws that could be changed. One place to start your search for what could happen is where you can find an on-line copy of A Better Way, Our Vision For a Confident America. Current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, provides an introduction to A Better Way. Ask around. Some of the smart kids can point you to other sources of potential reforms.

I heard it said this week, and it borrows from another similar saying, that while everyone wants tax reform – no one wants THEIR taxes reformed. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know. What I do know to be true is that in negotiations such as this, if you are not at the table then you are on the menu. So, if you don’t want to be lunch, or at least get knocked down and have your lunch money taken from you, then you need to contact people that can help you be part of the conversation. That might be a trade association, your accountant, your congressman, or your senator. I implore you, do not sit around and do nothing and then complain later about what was done to you.

This seems like a good spot to plug the local CCIM chapter. CCIM Arkansas is a good resource for many things. And CCIM Arkansas is hosting quarterly commercial real estate learning lunch programs. Coming up April 20 is your opportunity to learn about the highs and lows of commercial real estate and the coming marijuana businesses. Get more information at

Did you see the news about the shocking warning in the Sears Holdings report? It seems that there may be questions of Sears and K-Mart continuing as going concerns. I know, right? I mean who knew that trapping all your stores in a time-warp to 1975, keeping inventory low, having dirty stores and chronically under-staffing could possibly be a recipe for failure? Crazy talk. (No Max. I don’t have an update on if Costco is taking the closed Sears on University.) What I can tell all of you is that the long-closed former Bank of Little Rock location in front of Black Angus in the K-Mart parking lot is gone, G-O-N-E gone. Word is that this will be the site of an exciting ... new ... auto service center. Yep. Very exciting. Yuge redevelopment. Oh well. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that when the zombie that is K-Mart finally closes, the team of property owners of the Rodney Parham K-Mart location will find a redevelopment plan that will genuinely be newsworthy.

I think we ran out of space last month before I noted the O’Reilly’s coming to 8625 W. Markham Street. Formerly the home of Quality Oil Change, this 33,341 square foot site sold for $600,000. Yes, the building was included. Seeing as how it was removed though, it seems safe to call this a land sale. The offering memorandum for the property has it for sale, with a new metal building on it, for the price of $2,119,000. I didn’t check the building permit value. I’ll let a reader with some time on their hands do that if they want. I bet it was a fair amount less than the $1.5M difference.

There’s been a flurry of sales the last 45 days or so. Rather than research all of them, I went on Spring Break with my wonderful daughter and my lovely wife. So, I’ll give you a quick rundown. You can check up on the ones that interest you or shoot me a note if you already have the scoop. These are in no particular order.

The Promenade at Chenal Lot 3 LLC, sold a namesake property, home to Pei Wei and Mattress Firm, for $4,013,000 ($538 psf – yep). An interesting little building at 12211 W. Markham, once home to the Infinity car dealer, then traded as equity in a bank, and since used for ... well, I don’t know what it was used for, sold in March for $900,000 ($308 psf). The building housing David’s Burgers, AT&T and Hogman’s, near Bass Pro Shops, sold for $3,570,000 ($342 psf). Ozark Life Building at 10201 W. Markham sold for $3,250,000 ($91 psf). Three buildings at 5707, 5709 and 5711 Kavanaugh Blvd. sold together for $975,000 ($141 psf). A couple of small buildings and 5.25 acres along the 5600 block of Warden Road in North Little Rock sold for $2,400,000. I’m guessing the real value here is in the land. That translates to a little over $458,000 per acre. The same seller sold 1.72 acres of land on David O’Dodd Road in Little Rock for $950,000 ($552,325 per acre). And one more I found very interesting was a half-block in downtown Little Rock, on Broadway between 3rd St. & 4th St. This parking lot, consisting of just under an acre, fetched $2,100,000. I wonder if the best buy in this group isn’t the 3 buildings on Kavanaugh. Some other sales in that submarket suggest that purchase price might be a bargain.

This was long one of my daughter’s favorites. Why did the chicken cross the playground? First correct e-mailed answer wins lunch at a gift card purveyor of my choice.

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.

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