State Poised For Second Sustainable Acquisition with Mann on Main Property

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

The Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, which needed more space, was the second state tenant to sign aboard the Mann on Main project.

“We didn’t have state-owned space for them, and we wanted to relocate them into sustainable space,” Laidlaw said. “They liked it and they decided to do it. The Crime Information Center came out of the blue.”

The CIC was in three different spaces in the Big Mac Building on the Capitol grounds, and the Mann On Main project offered a chance to consolidate and provide all its staffers with equitable space.

Laidlaw is under a green mandate to reduce utility consumption for state agencies, and that was a consideration in the Mann on Main project.

“We’ve already met our 20 percent reduction goal (by 2014), but we’ll need to lower it to 30 percent by 2017,” she said. “The money we’re saving is paying for more and more improvements throughout our portfolio.”

Laidlaw expects the Mann on Main project will follow a lease-to-own track similar to the former Dillard’s headquarters at 900 W. Capitol Ave. The 120,000-SF property, acquired by the state for $18.5 million in March 2010 has gradually improved to an Energy Star rating of 90.

“Based on the systems and construction, the Mann on Main project should have an Energy Star rating of 75 when it starts operating,” Laidlaw said. “We will encourage the owner to tweak that. We found that you have to work very closely with a control specialist and operating team to really maximize the efficiencies.”

Blass Building Became Mann On Main

The historic Blass Building in downtown Little Rock was going to retain its name after undergoing redevelopment for state office space. But diplomatic considerations led to a name change.

Members of the Blass family didn’t want their name associated with the property they hadn’t owned for years and a project that didn’t involve them.

Now, the seven-story building bears the name of George Mann, the famed architect who designed it as well as the State Capitol.



Please read our comments policy before commenting.