Built in 1985 for $7.8 million, Pavilion in the Park was birthed in adversity and battled to find its way in the competition for upscale shops.
Early on, the three-story European-style galleria couldn’t hang onto national retailers such as Laura Ashley, Benetton and The Bombay Co., which it lost to the larger remodeled Park Plaza Mall.
Belle Tournure, a ritzy 6,000-SF women’s store featuring limousine service for clients, didn’t work out either.
But Pavilion eventually found its niche as a mixed-use development featuring an office-heavy roster of tenants.
The project’s dining choices once included Splash, replaced in 1997 with Bella Arti Ristorante, a second location for the critically acclaimed Italian restaurant started in Hot Springs. Only Trio’s has stood the test of time and remains.
Before the Flake family entered the ownership picture this year, Pavilion in the Park was visited by a series of bouncing ball sales valuations.
The deals began with its developers, Dr. C.D. Williams and David Jones, selling for $2.5 million in December 1991 to property manager Norman Burnette, West Memphis businessman Hugh Chalmers and Little Rock lawyer Greg Stephens.
The H.A.T. and Virginia Bailey family purchased Pavilion three years later for $2.6 million and sold it for $4.4 million in 1998 to an affiliate of Cooper Communities Inc. of Bella Vista.
The price tag grew to $6.6 million when an investment group led by Gene Cauley purchased it in 2003 and fell to $4.2 million in 2012 with Vivacat Investors, led by Dr. Scott Schlesinger and the LaFrance brothers, Stephen Jr. and Jason.
More: How developers are using food, drink and fun to refresh aging Little Rock commercial centers.