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Building Better Little Rock, Better Life



The Commercial Real Estate Council of Metro Little Rock is hosting a program on May 16 titled "Building a Better Little Rock, Building a Better Life." It is a happy hour and reception at The Fitzroy on Chenal Parkway. The program includes discussion on developing property in Little Rock and public education in Little Rock. Economic growth and development are key to growth in commercial real estate. And if you are reading this column presumably you are interested in commercial real estate. More information is available at here or via email.


Last month I included a note about the purchase of Building Four of the Verizon f/k/a Alltel campus by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Little birdies do sometimes have stories to tell. It turns out that where there is smoke there is probably fire. Keep an eye out on a potential future announcement that involves this property and is a step in the right direction on another point in last month’s column— specifically, the overall occupancy and absorption of office space in the Metro Little Rock market. This potential announcement would yield net new absorption.


I mentioned last month a proposed Design Overlay District planned for the Heights. I was fairly plainspoken in my concerns. It turns out that the Little Rock Planning Commission had no concerns and voted unanimously, unanimously I say, to recommend this new ordinance for approval by the Little Rock Board of Directors. Having served a couple of terms on the Planning Commission, I am shocked that something like this had no dissenting voices.


Razorback Square was the name given to the shopping center in the Riverdale area of Little Rock that once was home to a K-Mart, was for many years the place where seemingly everyone that worked downtown got phones from Alltel (and had them installed), and was for a while the location of a Walmart Neighborhood Market. The whole shopping center sat on a ground lease from the Catholic Dioceses. Well, last month the land portion of that shopping center sold to the lessee. The recorded sales price of that approximately 17.6-acre tract was $8,376,000. Simple math (the only kind I’m good at) works out to be $475,900 per acre, or almost $11 per square foot. This isn’t exactly a land sale only, though. There are technically improvements that would have reverted to the landowner at the expiration of the lease agreement. So, some thought should be given before running out and using this a straight land comp. I’ll observe that the consolidation of the land ownership and the improvements bodes well for the continued success of this center and for the potential re-positioning of the property to continue to be viable for years to come.


For $19,024,000, or $116,000 per unit for 164 units, the Thrive Argenta complex along 4th Street in North Little Rock, between Poplar and Magnolia, traded last month. Here’s more exciting activity in Argenta. In the event you don’t know where this is, it is one block off Main Street. Right in the heart of all the Argenta happenings.


Across the river, and across town, the Applebee’s at 12200 Chenal Parkway traded last month for $2,200,000. The same property last traded in 2010 for $1,400,000. That’s a reasonable increase, I think.


A little farther west on Chenal Parkway, a shopping center traded hands. Chenal Creek shopping center, next door to Target (and perched above Rock Creek) sold last month for $10,750,000. That works out to be real close to $385 per square foot on the nearly 28,000 square foot center. It previously sold in 2015 for $8,900,000.


That’s really all I have this week. I encourage you to come out to the Fitzroy on May 16 and hear about development and schools. There is real value in hearing what had to be done to make a project happen. And schools are most certainly a key element in economic development decisions.


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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