Monarch Pays Call to Arkansas, Buys Block 2 Project

$9 million.

That's how much the Block 2 redevelopment in downtown Little Rock sold for in a recent transaction.

The buyer is MIMG XXIX Block 2 LLC, an affiliate of Monarch Investment & Management Group of Franktown, Colo., about 45 miles north of Colorado Springs.

The acquisition marks the first foray into Arkansas for Monarch Investment, which has holdings in eight Western and Midwestern states.

The company owns apartment projects in Colorado, 10 plus a motel project; New Mexico, seven; Iowa and Ohio, four each; Michigan and Oklahoma, three each; and Illinois and Nebraska, one each.

The properties are dominated by conventional multifamily projects but include a 13-story high-rise bought out of receivership (Executive Towers) and a redeveloped 17-story hotel (Commodore Perry Apartments), both in downtown Toledo.

You might recall the previous owner of the 1.05-acre Block 2 project is LSF5 Block Two LLC, an affiliate of Lone Star U.S. Acquisition LLC of Dallas.

The property includes three redeveloped buildings: the 82,000-SF Democrat Printing & Lithograph Building at 122 E. Second St., home to your Whispers crew at Arkansas Business Publishing Group and 32 apartments; the 69,000-SF Wallace Building at 101 Main St., 44 apartments; and the 85,000-SF Archer Drug Building at 107 E. Markham St., 69 apartments.

LSF5 Block 2 entered the ownership picture after recovering the property at a $9 million foreclosure sale in March 2008 after landing a $12.5 million foreclosure judgment two months earlier.

But that deal was put in motion in September 2007 when the limited liability company bought the project's long-in-default loan for $7.5 million in September 2007 from Uncle Sam, specifically the Department of Housing & Urban Development.