The real estate firm selected by the Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board to help search for a downtown site for the planned tech park on Wednesday recommended the acquisition of five properties along Main and Scott streets.
ARK Commercial and Investment Real Estate, commissioned to search for suitable properties within the Main Street "creative corridor" of downtown Little Rock, recommended the acquisition of the following properties, including the KATV building, at Wednesday's board meeting:
- West half-block of the 400 Block of Main Street
- East half-block of the 400 Block of Main Street
- West half-block of the 400 Block of Scott Street
- Parking lot at the northeast corner of Main Street and 4th Street
- As part of the purchase of other parcels, a one-lot parking lot along Scott Street, adjacent to the Woman's City Club (Junior League) building
"After months of searching the area, we are confident this site offers the largest feasible group of available properties on Main Street that is nearest to Markham Street, President Clinton Avenue, and the downtown resurgence that springs from the River Market," said Jeff Yates, managing partner of ARK Commercial and Investment Real Estate, in a news release. "This is a prime location to harness the growing energy from an area that is emerging as a downtown center for both entertainment and commerce."
ARK's property search included the investigation of 98 parcels including buildings and parking lots located throughout what is being called the Main Street creative corridor.
"This is just the first step in the process," said Yates. "Once approved, we will complete work on cost estimates and negotiations for acquisition of the properties."
ARK was selected by the park board in February to assist in securing a site for the park along Main Street. In June, the park board offered the job of park director to Brent Birch, former chief information officer at Arkansas Business Publishing Group. Birch took over in the new post this week.
The tech park is seen by city leaders as another cog in the resurgence of Main Street and the growing of a tech-based startup ecosystem in downtown Little Rock that includes the Arkansas Venture Center and the ARK Challenge startup accelerator.