Little Rock attorney Richard Mays on Thursday sued the Little Rock Technology Park Authority and other officials, challenging the board’s authority to take his property under eminent domain.
Mays is the owner of a three-story office building at 415 Main St. that houses his law firm. The tech park board wants to purchase that property to serve as the anchor for a $24 million first phase of a planned $100 million tech park.
The board offered to purchase the 10,000-SF building for $845,000. On Thursday, Mays countered that offered with a new asking price of $1.2 million.
More: See Mays’ lawsuit here.
The board had given Mays until noon Friday to meet or counter its offer, otherwise it would file an eminent domain lawsuit. Mays contends the board isn’t a public entity and told Arkansas Business in October that he believed the issue of the planned tech park as public use is an issue for judicial determination.
In the lawsuit, Mays says the “proposed uses for properties purchased or taken…are not, in fact, public uses but rather are purely in pursuit of private economic interests.”
The board and its attorneys contend the statute that created the board makes it a quasi-public entity authorized to cite eminent domain if necessary.
Mays filed the lawsuit Thursday as officer for 415 Main Group LLC. Other named defendants in the lawsuit are Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and the city of Little Rock.
The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is Dec. 9.