Saturday, May 28, 2016

UPDATE: Hillcrest waits on Helmich property plans on Kavanaugh

Posted By on Sat, May 28, 2016 at 7:24 AM

click to enlarge NEW OWNER: Helmich Auto Service closes after almost six decades. Plans for property not yet known.
  • NEW OWNER: Helmich Auto Service closes after almost six decades. Plans for property not yet known.

It's a slow Memorial Day weekend and there's no news for any newsman like news close to the office.

So thanks to David Smith of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for reporting news that Helmich Auto Service at 2712 Kavanaugh Boulevard (corner of Beechwood) has closed after almost 60 years. Smith reported the property was sold, but the article didn't identify the buyers.

I can provide some more information.

But first, I'm sorry to see the business go. Owner Stan West, whose father-in-law started the business in 1957, was that rare commodity — a reliable independent garage operator. Several times he rescued us from the despair of non-functioning cars.

The property was sold for $450,000 to Little Gidding  LLC. The incorporator of Little Gidding is Glenn Borkowski, a lawyer and former president of the Hillcrest Residents Association. I've sent a note to him inquiring about what development plans, if any, are in the cards for that prime location across the street from the late Afterthought and Mylo's and next door to U.S. Pizza.

Little Gidding, you ask? It's an English village and also the title of the fourth of T.S. Eliot's "Four Quartets." Says Wikipedia:

The poem uses the combined image of fire and Pentecostal fire to emphasise the need for purification and purgation. According to the poet, humanity's flawed understanding of life and turning away from God leads to a cycle of warfare, but this can be overcome by recognising the lessons of the past. 
On the other hand, maybe the owners of the LLC just once knew a little guy named Gidding.

As I say, a slow day.

UPDATE: I heard from Borkowski on Tuesday.

With regard to the property on Kavanaugh, client confidentiality requires me to refrain from commenting on the matter, but I will add that in this instance, I don't have any particular insight to offer, even if I could.

Also: A neighbor wondered whether a residential property — a house with multiple apartments — at 703 Beechwood could be part of a future plan. County records indicate that property remains in the hands of the same trust that bought it nine years ago.

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Speaking of...

  • Doug Martin confirms purchase of Helmich property on Kavanaugh

    October 6, 2016
    A Stephens Inc. executive is behind the purchase of the venerable Helmich garage at Kavanaugrh and Beechwood in Hillcrest. For now, he has no redevelopment plans. /more/
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    May 16, 2012
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