ABPG Announces Plans For Downtown Expansion

Arkansas Business Publishing Group announced last week that it will expand and renovate its downtown Little Rock office to accommodate ongoing growth of its niche publications, interactive initiatives and custom publishing operations.

The 5,700-SF expansion in the Block 2 development will include the addition of a video production studio as the company increases multimedia content on its various websites, said President and Publisher Jeff Hankins.

ABPG moved to Block 2 at the corner of Second and Scott streets with 58 employees and an 11,500-SF office in 2001. Today, the company has 76 employees and the renovated office will have 17,200 SF to meet current and future needs.

"We're grateful to our readers and advertisers for making this growth possible," Hankins said. "We've added 18 jobs during the past decade, and those include six technology jobs through our FLEX360 website development division.

"Our staff was adamant about staying in downtown Little Rock," he added. "We're proud to be a growing, locally owned media company that continues to invest capital and create jobs in Arkansas."

While most media companies eliminated jobs and cut pay during the recession, Hankins said, ABPG continued to invest in its staff and print products while also expanding its website operations.

"Our three flagship publications - Arkansas Business, Little Rock Soiree and Little Rock Family - are all the most-read magazines in their niche categories in the market and are enjoying solid revenue growth," Hankins said. "Our niche websites attracted more than a half million unique visitors in April. We're excited about our position in the market, and this expansion will support our efforts to maintain it."

The decline in daily newspaper readership across the country gives the false impression that "print is dead," Hankins said, and Arkansas Business is growing as are most business journals across the country. "We have 6 percent more print subscribers than we did five years ago, and 16 percent more than 10 years ago."

The weekly print edition of Arkansas Business was redesigned last summer, and ArkansasBusiness.com is being redesigned with mobile optimization and will debut this summer.

"We're bullish on the continued rebound of the Arkansas economy, and Arkansas Business Publishing Group is positioned strongly to continue to grow with the state while meeting our readers' news and information needs however they want it delivered," Hankins said.

The renovation and expansion project is expected to be completed within the next six months.

Arkansas Business Publishing Group's 16 niche publications also include titles such as Arkansas Bride, Arkansas Next: A Guide to Life After High School, Arkansas Green Guide and the upcoming ArkansasSports360.com Football Preview. The company's primary websites are ArkansasBusiness.com, InArkansas.com and ArkansasSports360.com.