Premier Medical Plaza Construction Proceeds Despite Loan Hiccup

Premier Medical Plaza Construction Proceeds Despite Loan Hiccup
A rendering of the planned Premier Medical Plaza, a 45,000-SF facility at the site of the vacant Kmart on Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock. (Newmark Moses Tucker Partners)

You may have seen the announcement last week that the Premier Medical Plaza in west Little Rock received its $26 million construction loan from Fayetteville’s Arvest Bank.

But did you know that construction on the $35 million project was halted for about two weeks because the construction loan didn’t close as expected?

A construction watcher said that construction loans not closing on time “is very common.” But in this case, some demolition work had started on the project before the major portion of the construction loan was finalized.

Because of the cost exposure to the contractor, the construction work couldn’t go forward without the financing in place, the observer said.

The project at 10901 Rodney Parham Road is being developed by Premier Gastroenterology Associates and Newmark Moses Tucker Partners of Little Rock. Chris Moses, president and CEO of NMTP, said there wasn’t an issue with the construction loan.

“We had to get construction documents, which typically takes 90-plus days, and to bid it out,” he said. “So we’re about four months into the process and running on a solid time frame.”

Bill Greene, Premier’s CEO, also said there weren’t any loan issues “at all.”

“In fact, we’ve been fortunate there were multiple lenders that were anxious to meet with us on this project,” Greene said. “It’s such an impactful project for the community. We’ve had a lot of interest and no issues at all.”

Premier Gastroenterology Associates will have about 45,000 SF in the 100,000-SF center, once home to Kmart.

The architect for the project is WER Architects/Planners of Little Rock, and the general contractor is Clark Contractors LLC of Little Rock. The complex is expected to open during the fourth quarter.

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