Editor's note: An update to this story with a response from the developer is available here.
A report on a massive development plan proposed for North Little Rock sent your Whispers staff to the news archives.
The $346 million development on 463 acres will include commercial, hotel and restaurants “designed to support recent tourism demand and growth in North Little Rock,” according to the website of Altis Capital of Hot Springs, a real estate development company.
The project boasts of creating more than 7,000 jobs, an eye-popping figure.
While the website offers spectacular renderings of the project, including a transparent pool suspended between two buildings, it offered few details about its location or when the construction work might start or finish.
We reached out to Altis’ president and CEO, Mike Halupka, and didn’t hear back from him as of Thursday afternoon.
If the name sounds familiar it’s because at the end of 2019, Halupka’s company was raising $30 million for an entertainment project in Hot Springs that was designed to be modeled after Victory Park, the planned development in Dallas.
In a Securities & Exchange filing in December 2019, RCG Asylum Hot Springs LLC showed it raised $1.7 million of a $30 million equity offering. The address for RCG Asylum Hot Springs, an entity of Royal Capital Group LLC of Hot Springs, is the same address for Altis Capital.
Halupka told Whispers in March 2020, just as the pandemic began, that he hoped to have the first phase of the multiphase project opened just before the summer of 2021.
Halupka, who was Royal’s CEO at the time, said the company had about 92 acres for the project under contract. He said the project would be just outside of Hot Springs’ downtown area but declined to say exactly where.
“If we open everything up at once, it would be hurting the city in the sense of growing too fast, too soon, too quick,” Halupka said. “So we’re going to scale it up over a three-year period.”
But that hasn’t happened.
Our Hot Springs reporter said, “They never did anything here. It was all talk.”