New Projects, Players Attracted To Downtown Little Rock Redevelopment

by George Waldon  on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010 12:00 am  

Greg Hatcher and Sam Alley joined forces to take out the KARK Building.

Hatcher made an earlier offer on the largely vacant building but backed off, only to return six months later after deciding to close the deal and figure out the parking logistics afterward.

Hatcher thought Stephens Inc. owner Warren Stephens might put in a parking lot on the half block Stephens cleared on the west side of Main Street between Fourth Street and Capitol Avenue.

That nearby possibility didn't play out after Hatcher learned that Stephens was content to warehouse the property for future development.

With his $400,000 remodeling project at 310 Louisiana St. in full swing, Hatcher was still in search of parking for his staff. He found 25 slots a half block to the south.

However, buying the parking lot meant buying an adjoining 15,951-SF building at 400 Louisiana St. in a $500,000 package deal. The numbers made financial sense, so Hatcher accepted the role of landlord to gain half of his 50 desired parking slots.

"I was trying to buy parking here, there and everywhere," he said.

Sam Alley, CEO of the VCC general contracting firm, also was looking for parking options for his staff near the company's updated 18,000-SF headquarters at 216 Louisiana St.

Hatcher and Alley had looked at buying and razing the 61,000-SF KARK Building at 201 W. Third St. But the property was joined to its 46,000-SF Siamese twin at 207 W. Third St.

Logistics dictated razing both addresses, and the resulting cost and number of parking slots were too much for Hatcher and Alley to bite off separately.

"We figured out 'Why don't we just split it?'" said Hatcher, who will gain parking adjacent to his new offices. "We each needed half."

"It made a lot of sense," Alley said. "We're neighbors, and we love downtown.

"Once the buildings were offered for sale and we started looking into it and doing our due diligence, we discovered the asbestos."



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