CARTI Campus Tops Slimmer Projects List

by George Waldon  on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 12:00 am  

The dollar tally of large construction projects throughout the state declined in a big way during the past 12 months. The total value of the biggest commercial jobs dropped from more than $1.4 billion in 2012 to about $1.1 billion this year.

That change of more than $350 million reflects a 24 percent fall. Behind those numbers was a combination of factors: projects scheduled to start in 2013 were moved to the back burner instead, and the flow of work to bid on simply began drying up.

“Our pipeline got empty last year, but it will fill back up,” said Mike Webb, president of Ideal Construction Co. of Crossett.

(GET THE LIST: See this week's list of the top construction projects in Arkansas in either a PDF or spreadsheet format.)

This year’s list, like last year’s, ranks projects that are valued at $4 million or more. Thirteen of the 20 largest projects on the 2012 list were deemed to be completed, including the mammoth $173 million NEA Baptist Health Hospital Complex in Jonesboro.

A new health care entry replaced it as the largest commercial project in Arkansas. Site work has begun on the $50.7 million CARTI Campus in west Little Rock.

The 37.1-acre location along Riley Drive was purchased a year ago for the cancer treatment complex. CARTI bought the undeveloped land near the John Barrow exit off Interstate 630 for $5.1 million.

The seller was 630 Alleyway LLC, led by Sam Alley, CEO of Little Rock’s VCC general contracting firm. Nabholz Construction Corp. of Conway is overseeing construction of the new CARTI campus.

The job is among 14 Nabholz projects that made this year’s list, the most of any contractor.

Education-related construction was a dominant sector of activity among the 2013 roster of projects. Of the 102 listed, 35 are associated with school districts or colleges/universities.

Two big school contracts composed of multiple projects joined CARTI among this year’s top five. The bigger of the two was $39 million worth of work for the Lake Hamilton School District in Garland County (No. 3).

A multipurpose arena, middle school, agricultural sciences building, and elementary and junior high additions highlight the construction package. Hill & Cox Corp. of Hot Springs is overseeing the job.



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