Brent Birch, the director of the Little Rock Tech Park, told the park’s board on Wednesday that he has received “genuine interest” from local companies interested in being a part of the park.
“I have fielded calls or met with eight to 10 prospective tenants in my short time on the job with more scheduled in the coming weeks,” Birch told Arkansas Business on Thursday. “Some of these are naturally more serious than others, but there is a burgeoning movement of technology-related firms across various disciplines in the central Arkansas area wanting to be a part of the innovation ecosystem we are building.”
Birch is the former CIO of Arkansas Business Publishing Group. He was hired earlier this summer by the Little Rock Tech Park Authority as the park’s first director. Currently, he works out of office space in the chamber.
Birch said he couldn’t reveal which companies have expressed interest, but is encouraged in the level of interest considered the park doesn’t yet exist as a physical space.
The park board targeted five properties along Main Street downtown for the park’s future home (see slideshow), and Birch said the next steps in the acquisition process will be to “navigate approvals and agreements with the city, utilities and other related entities to ensure the proposed properties can be used as needed.”
“Once those are in place, our team will move forward with the actual process of purchasing the properties from the current ownership groups,” he said.
Chad Young of Little Rock’s Wittenberg Deloney & Davidson presented the board with two options for the park’s downtown facilities. Option 1 would incorporate the KATV building at 4th and Main streets. The second option would raze the building.