State Poised For Second Sustainable Acquisition with Mann on Main Property

by George Waldon  on Monday, Apr. 8, 2013 12:00 am  

Developers hoping to lock up a long-term lease with a state agency might want to study a page from the playbook of Little Rock’s Moses Tucker Real Estate.

The company drew up a winning proposal founded on a rent-neutral lease formula for space in a sustainable project as part of a historical redevelopment.

Adding juice to the deal is the promise of a purchase option that could allow the state to buy the building at 322 Main St., now dubbed Mann On Main.

The purchase option wasn’t formalized as part of the 13-year lease agreements with three state agencies for legal reasons tied to the use of New Market Tax Credits to help fund construction.

Those legal considerations go away after seven years, which opens the door to a sale by Mann Development LLC, a joint venture between Moses Tucker Real Estate and the Doyle Rogers Co.

“The owner-developer made it very clear they would love for the state to buy the building,” said Anne Laidlaw, director of the Arkansas Building Authority. “That was the whole basis for getting into this. The owners assured us that nothing has changed about their intention to provide us with a purchase option.”

A combination of tax credits (New Market and Historic) is providing about $7.3 million in the $19.6 million funding equation to convert the former Blass Department Store into the Mann on Main as well as redeveloping the adjoining 310 Main St. annex building. A $12.3 million loan from IberiaBank completes the financing.

The option price for the project has yet to be determined.

“It’s based on us agreeing on an appraiser who will prepare an appraisal, and then we will negotiate from there,” Laidlaw said.

The bell cow tenant making the Mann on Main redevelopment a possibility is the Office of Child Support Enforcement, which has been housed in Arkla Plaza since July 2000.

The agency with its 230-member staff and 55,000-SF block of office space was put in play when state officials learned Arkla Plaza was marked for future teardown.

That notification came from the building’s landlord, Moses Tucker Real Estate, which said it would relocate OCSE to new quarters.

 

 

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