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.

Dealing with that extra expense required negotiating a price concession. Complicating matters were three different family ownerships divided among more than a dozen heirs. Both hurdles were crossed, resulting in a combined $675,000 transaction.

"As many people that were involved in the deal, I thought it might not ever close," Alley said. "I was not too optimistic, but the deal got done through persistence and patience."

James Dyke also opted to tear down a 26,348-SF office building at 306 Center St., built circa 1960, in favor of a parking lot. The property is expected to yield about 20 slots that will support his Dyke Industries staff across the street at 309 Center St.


'New Opportunities'

Sharon Priest, executive director of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, is somewhat philosophical about parking lots replacing vacant non-historic buildings.

"At least, we have lots of new opportunities for development," she said.

From Alley's perspective, the teardowns will remove an eyesore structure and improve the looks of downtown. He also believes the project literally paves the way for new construction in the future while reducing the inventory of class B or C office space.

"Will there be another 40-story building built in Little Rock?" Alley said. "Probably not.

"Will there be another high-rise office building built in downtown Little Rock? Probably. Maybe one will be here someday."

In the meantime, a landscaped parking lot will take the place of long-vacant property.




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