After Delays, K Lofts Apartment Project Moves Forward on Main Street

by George Waldon  on Thursday, Jul. 25, 2013 11:40 am  

Developers and political leaders held a news conference Thursday morning to announce the start of construction on 32 apartments on the long-vacant upper floors of downtown Little Rock's 315 Main St. building.

The K Lofts project, championed by developer Scott Reed and encouraged by Little Rock mayor Mark Stodola, was first announced two years ago.

Only the ground level restaurant space, first occupied by Porter's Jazz Café and now home to the reggae-themed Cafe Montego, was developed. The upper floor apartments remained dormant and on the drawing board, delayed by challenges that included mountains of pigeon dung.

"It's been a little bit of a journey," said Reed, of Portland, Ore.

He credited the support of political leaders, IberiaBank and the Arkansas Historic Tax Credit program for making the redevelopment possible.

"This building doesn't happen without the state historic tax credit," Reed said.

Stodola expressed appreciation for Reed taking on the daunting task of revitalizing the old building.

The mayor noted that Little Rock today was named the No. 1 small to midsize city to live in by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. The ranking is linked with "good jobs, affordable homes and plenty to do indoors and out."

"I'm elated and excited about what's going on," Stodola said of downtown redevelopment activity.

Though delayed in its full development, the reopening of the 315 Main St. project's ground floor and basement was a harbinger for a series of nearby projects.

"It has had several missteps, but it's had a catalyst effect on Main Street," said Odies Wilson III, intergovernmental relations manager for the city of Little Rock, of Reed's project.

The Mann on Main redevelopment project, a joint venture by Moses Tucker and the Doyle Rogers Co., followed across the street. Reed and Little Rock lawyer Wooten Epes last year teamed together to launch the mixed-use redevelopment of buildings along the western side of the 500 block of Main Street with 250,000 SF under roof.

This series of buildings is envisioned to be an anchor for the Main Street Creative Corridor.

“If you can get these buildings back on the tax rolls, we all benefit,” said Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines.

 

 

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