Arkansas Federal Credit Union, which has been headquartered in Jacksonville since its founding in 1956, announced Tuesday the $12 million purchase of the FamilyLife building in west Little Rock and plans to move its headquarters there over the next 18-24 months.
FamilyLife, a nonprofit family ministry, announced in September that it would move to Orlando, Florida, after more than 40 years in Little Rock. AFCU said FamilyLife will vacate the 97,000-SF building at 5800 Ranch Drive in August, after which it will be remodeled to accommodate a large retail branch focused on consumer and business deposits and loans, as well as mortgage, insurance and investment offices.
"After a three-year search for space to accommodate our growing operations and membership, we felt the building’s size, quality, location and value were the perfect fit for us," AFCU CEO Rodney Showmar said in a statement provided to Arkansas Business.
"We are excited to be able to have all of our operations staff under one roof in this new facility. We have continued to invest heavily in IT, training and marketing, and the additional space sets us up for growth for generations and gives us flexible floorplans, abundant natural light, and greater amenities for our employees."
When the remodel is substantially completed in 2021, AFCU said, the space will initially house about 200 employees and will be able to expand to nearly double that number.
AFCU is Arkansas' largest credit union by far, with assets of more than $1.2 billion. It employs more than 300 people in its current headquarters and network of 15 branches.
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. cheered the arrival of a new corporate citizen.
"I am thrilled that Little Rock could provide the solution for Arkansas Federal Credit Union's growth and expansion needs," he said in the written statement "Through this move, Little Rock is helping preserve the jobs of hundreds of employees who live in our region and creating opportunity for hundreds more."
Showmar called Jacksonville "a great home for the past 60-plus years" and said AFCU would maintain its two branches there and some back-office jobs.