Higher Ed Division Makes Its Move

Higher Ed Division Makes Its Move
Maria Markham

The Arkansas Division of Higher Education is moving, but not very far.

One of relatively few state agencies remaining on Main Street in Little Rock, the 55-employee division is exiting the 48,000-SF it occupies at 423 Main Street, known as Five Main, and moving one building south.

“We’re moving across the street [Capitol Avenue] to 101 East Capitol,” Maria Markham, the division’s director, told Whispers on Thursday. “Our offices will be on the third floor, and the move should be completed by the end of the first week of June.” The square footage is comparable to the division’s current space, she said.

The Education Department’s Research & Technology team will be making the move along with Higher Ed, said Alex Johnston, chief of staff for the Arkansas Department of Transformation and Shared Services.

The new offices are in the state-owned Main Street Mall, operated by his department’s Division of Building Authority, which has been saying goodbye to state tenants, including several that decamped to another state office building at 900 W. Capitol.

“The current lease at Five Main housing the two divisions of Education totals 44,571 rental square feet at an annual rent of $783,377.76,” Johnston said. “This rent is exclusive of utilities, janitorial and security expenses.” The move across the street will consolidate staffers into a total of 33,396 SF “at a full service annual rental of $434,148,” including utilities, janitorial and security services. Parking is by a separate contract, Johnston said.

The 423 Main office building is owned by the Little Rock Technology Park Authority. Brent Birch, the Tech Park’s director, said the space the Division of Higher Education is vacating will become a “Phase 2 expansion with some exploratory and design work starting as soon as they move out.”