New Bank of the Ozarks HQ Still a Work in Progress

New Bank of the Ozarks HQ Still a Work in Progress

The timetable for developing a new Bank of the Ozarks headquarters in west Little Rock has slipped since it was announced 18 months ago.

What’s the latest news?

For an update, we turn to the man with the plan for a status report on the project.

“We’re working diligently on that and hope to have an announcement very soon,” teases George Gleason, chairman and CEO of the publicly traded company. “There’s a lot of interest. We have a great need for it.”

About 100 employees have relocated from the company’s current 92,000-SF headquarters at 17901 Chenal Parkway. Leasing operations moved three years ago, and pieces of several operations, dominated by mortgage staffers, went to temporary quarters earlier this year.

“We simply ran out of room,” Gleason said.

The size of the company has more than doubled since news of the project broke in January 2016. Back then, total assets stood at $9.3 billion. These days the figure is $20.1 billion.

You might recall that Bank of the Ozarks bought 46.2 acres in 2016 for more than $12.5 million to develop a new corporate headquarters complex.

Most of the acreage is at the northwest corner of Cantrell Road and Chenonceau Boulevard. A portion extends east of Chenonceau to Ranch Boulevard along the south side of Ranch Drive.

Plans for first-phase construction called for a 180,000-SF building. The property could contain six more buildings in the future.

The planned building represents the fourth headquarters location for the company since moving to Little Rock in 1995 from Ozark (Franklin County).

Starting with 3,500 SF of leased space downtown, Bank of the Ozarks moved with 30 staffers to a 40,000-SF home at 12615 Chenal Parkway in June 1998.

The current HQ, which opened in December 2008, has a maximum occupancy of about 269. Total staffers companywide: 3,000.