Tech Park Board Approves Phase 1 Rental Rates

Tech Park Board Approves Phase 1 Rental Rates

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board on Wednesday approved rental rates ranging from $200 to $1,100 for furnished slots at 48,264-SF of office space, which is under construction at 415 and 417 Main St.

A co-working dedicated desk, non-reserved desk and day pass will cost $200, $125 and $25 per day, respectively.

Office suites and desks will be $475-$625 for a semi-private space, $275-$1,100 for a private space, $1,000 for a team station and $300 for work stations.

Executive Director Brent Birch presented the rates and floor plans for phase one of the Tech Park project to the Little Rock Technology Park Board at its regular meeting.

Amenities for tenants will include ultra high-speed broadband internet, paid utilities, conference rooms, a coffee bar, maintenance and janitorial services, secure 24/7 access, a copy print center, lockable storage, a business mailing address, bike racks, locker rooms and showers.

Birch said he is working with Charles Dilks and other facility managers nationwide to develop lease agreements for tenants. He said the park would likely offer 12-month terms, with the exception of month-to-month leases for those renting co-working spaces and longer terms for half- and full-floor tenants. Parking will be leased separately from building spaces.

Birch said the park is close to announcing tenants, and said to expect a variety of companies.

“You can't think pigeon hole,” he said. “These companies come in all shapes and sizes ... It's definitely set up to be fit for a one-man shop, or five-man or 10-man shop. You could have someone take up a whole floor.”

Birch said the Tech Park would offer startup grants to applicants approved by him and a yet-to-be-named board member. The program would provide below-market lease rates for a maximum of two years. The rent would gradually increase over the two years until the tenant is charged the market rate.


The board also approved a total cost of $6.8 million for the renovation of 415 and 417 Main St., demolition of 114 E. Capitol Ave. and asbestos abatement for 114 E. Capitol Ave. and 415 Main St.

The project completion date is Jan. 2.

Birch told Arkansas Business that the Little Rock Tech Park planned on spending $6 million, while contractor East Harding Construction expected the project to cost $6.3 million. But he said contingency funds would offset the difference.

Birch also said six of the 23 contracts — or 26 percent — that East Harding issued to subcontractors in phase 1 construction are going to minority- and women-owned businesses, and that he expected more opportunities for those businesses in future projects.

Value engineering and deductive alternatives were used to bring the costs down by $160,007 and $88,849, respectively, Birch told the board.

The original project bid came down from $6.76 million to $6.51 million, and then the cost of the demolition and abatements were added.

Planned rebidding of millwork and fire door packages could further reduce the total price, Birch said.

Abatement costs are $170,000 for 114 E. Capitol and $40,000 for the roof of 415 Main St.

Birch said the plan is to complete one building this month and another in June. He’s working with the Pulaski County Brownfields Program to get assistance with the Main Street property’s abatement. He said that couldn’t be done for the other property because work had already started.

Demolition of 114 E. Capitol is expected to wrap up in May. General demolition at the two Main Street properties is set to be complete June 3 for 417 and July 5 for 415.

The board also approved a five-year, fixed-term contract with Best Park for the parking lot at Fourth and Main streets. It begins July 1, when the lease with the state ends.

Annual projected revenue of the park, based on an occupancy rate of 100 percent, is $126,633, Birch reported.

Comings and Goings

Birch announced a new Tech Park tenant, Keith Fogg of MobX, and the loss of two members. He also said he is working with Venture Center to host the FinTech Accelerator at the park’s 107 Main St. office.

Spencer Jones, who has two medical device companies and was listed among Arkansas Business’ 2015 20 in their 20s class, has temporarily moved in with HubX-Life Sciences to work on a project and then plans to set up shop in Fayetteville, Birch said. But Jones wants to have a second office in Little Rock later and is interested in future tech park space, Birch told the board.

Accelerate Arkansas also moved out over issues with their grant funding, but may return to another Tech Park space once those are cleared up, he said.

The board agreed to purchase a Zurich liability insurance policy while 415 and 417 Main St. are under construction. The annual premium is $15,165, and the deductible is $5,000.

The board also agreed to purchase a builder’s risk insurance policy from Travelers with an annual premium of $12,408 and a $5,000 deductible.

The board voted to initiate a $15,000 contract with Middleton Heat & Air for the semi-annual maintenance of 421 Main St.

The board briefly discussed a memorandum of intent it plans to have with the city, but didn’t vote on it, although one member said she expected little opposition. Birch said he was scheduling a presentation to the city’s board of directors to update them on the project’s progress and talk about the memorandum.

He also said he'd be submitting four disbursement requests to Centennial Bank, which provided a $9.6 million loan for the project, to pay vendors by reimbursing the board's operating account. But Birch said he didn't have spreadsheets with final amounts prepared and a vote wasn't needed yet. 

The board also approved the Tech Park’s logo, designed by Cranford Co. of Little Rock.