Park Avenue Project Nearing Completion

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 12:00 am  

When the first of 260 luxury apartments open at the Park Avenue development later this year, it will complete the city of Little Rock’s vision for a mixed-use center in midtown.

But some real estate watchers aren’t sure how well the apartments will do at the former University Mall site at 300 S. University Ave.

“They’re going to have to get some high rents to justify the costs of the construction and the land costs,” said Jerry Webster, president of the Webster Corp., a Little Rock apartment broker. “And it will be interesting [to see] if people will pay those rents in that location.

“If you want urban living, you’re going to live in the River Market area,” he said.

The 28-acre site features eight stores, including Target and Radio Shack, and a restaurant, Cheddar’s Casual Cafe. More stores and restaurants are expected to open by the end of the year.

See Also: Park Avenue Development Took Longer Than Expected

In February, Park Avenue Apartments LLC, an affiliate of Lang Partners of Dallas, spent $4.6 million to buy 3.03 acres at the site to build the apartments. The company received a loan of $21.6 million from Arvest Bank of Fayetteville for the construction costs.

Representatives from Lang didn’t return calls for comment. Rents for the 600-SF studio apartments to 1,500-SF two-bedroom apartments will range from $800 to $1,750 a month, according to a Feb. 25 article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Meanwhile, the commercial side of the development continues to gain momentum after the 137,000-SF Target opened in the fall of 2010, months later than developer Strode Properties Co. of Dallas had hoped. Strode bought the property in 2007 for $21 million.

“We’re substantially complete,” Charles Keller, a partner in Strode, told Arkansas Business last week.

He said Strode was trying to complete a deal with a retailer to occupy a 12,000-SF spot for a junior anchor.

Keller wouldn’t say which companies he was talking to and wouldn’t give a timetable for when a deal would be completed.

 

 

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