Preliminary Budget for Tech Park's Phase II is $26M


The not-yet-financed second phase of the Little Rock Technology Park will have a preliminary budget of nearly $26 million, the project's directors announced at a monthly board meeting Wednesday.

WER Architects/Planners of Little Rock produced the budget. The firm was hired in December 2017 to design Phase II and presented its renderings of the 85,100-SF, five-story building to the Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board at its meeting in December 2018.

CDI Contractors LLC of Little Rock is the construction manager for the project.

At the meeting, Tech Park Executive Director Brent Birch said, "We've already gotten a list back too, of some value engineering, which we're nowhere close to really deciding on any of those things. But [WER has] identified a few things that could swing some dollars one way or the other ... Once the project gets off the ground, there’s some things that we could or couldn't do."

Birch and Tech Park Board member Dickson Flake plan to compile a presentation that will be used to pitch Phase II to potential donors and investors who could fund it.

Officials have said it could take a couple of years for construction to begin, depending on the Tech Park board obtaining the funding.

Board member Kevin Zaffaroni suggested that the tech park fund Phase II by selling real estate it owns, but he also said that was a "pie in the sky" idea.

The Tech Park is funded in part by rent from tenants and a half-cent city sales tax expected to generate $22 million. Phase I, now 100 percent occupied, cost about $22 million, including all property acquisitions.

Phase II will be built on the empty lot between the park's current home at 417 Main St. and the KATV building at the corner of Main and Fourth streets.

Plans for Phase II include wet/dry laboratories on the third, fourth and fifth floors; offices in the front of the building; meeting spaces; locker rooms; indoor bicycle storage; a small catering space; a restaurant-type space with an outdoor patio on the first floor; and a meeting/conference room that could seat about 180 people.

The building would be LEED-certified as energy efficient, and the main entrance to the tech park would be moved from Phase I to Phase II.