Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Real deals: A lobbyist penthouse; new apartments in Quapaw; new use for historic house

Posted By on Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 3:23 PM

A variety of regulatory agencies will be in play as three interesting real estate developments move toward approval, beginning with hearings before committees of the Capitol Zoning District Commission this week.

MULLENIX ARMS: Sketch of proposed new building across street from Capitol.
  • MULLENIX ARMS: Sketch of proposed new building across street from Capitol.

* LOBBYIST PENTHOUSE: The Mullenix Land Company (that would be Ted Mullenix, the former legislator and lobbyist) to build a four-story building at 204 S. Bishop Street, just off Third Street. It would have mixed uses, including a top floor penthouse with fireplace and balcony to look across the way at the State Capitol. A fine place to entertain legislators, but only if Mullenix can find one of his many ways to get around the supposed constitutional prohibition against wining and dining lobbyists. BYO OK, I guess.

This building would replace Precision Motors, once an Alfa Romeo and Saab dealer. He'd also use a lot next door at Third and Bishop for parking and perhaps redevelop the former service station on the site, used in recent years for a series of restaurants.

If Allen Kerr gets his way, the Insurance Department and other state agencies (who knows, maybe if luck has it ones with business of interest to Mullenix) will occupy a glorious new building across Bishop Street. The land, currently occupied by some small buildings, has been purchased. The Hutchinson Administration apparently has money to burn on new construction and will ask approval of an architect/developer for the project in January. Republican legislators, normally tightwads, probably will open up the state wallet for this necessity.

Here's the full rundown on his plan.
The Commission staff has recommended approval of the project.

click to enlarge REPLACEMENT PLANNED: A four-story building is the plan for this former garage and auto dealer.
  • REPLACEMENT PLANNED: A four-story building is the plan for this former garage and auto dealer.

* MORE APARTMENTS DOWNTOWN: Developer Tommy Lassiter has a proposal to build a 35-unit apartment project along the currently vacant west side of the 1300 block of Scott Street. (Not Springs as I erroneously wrote originally) The land is adjoined by a parking lot and a convenience store in the 1300 block of Main. The apartments would be across the street from the historic Villa Marre and some other nearby historic properties in the Quapaw Quarter.
click to enlarge VACANT NOW: But land at left  targeted for development on Scott between Daisy Bates and 13th.
  • VACANT NOW: But land at left targeted for development on Scott between Daisy Bates and 13th.
An apartment project four blocks north on Scott engendered controversy before being approved by the MacArthur Park Historic District Commission, but that project had 48 units. The staff has recommended this project.

More residences downtown, other considerations aside, are a welcome development.

click to enlarge SPRING STREET APARTMENTS: Architect's drawing.
  • SPRING STREET APARTMENTS: Architect's drawing.

This is the full application on Scott Street.
* PARTY HOUSE:  Little Rock Historic Properties proposes to use the historic Cornish house at 1800 Arch for event rental, studio and office space.  A carriage house would be converted to a rental. The 100-year-old house is amid a residential neighborhood. It is also about two blocks from another historic house, across the street from the Governor's Mansion, owned by the same business and used for event rental. The staff recommends the proposal for putting a vacant structure back into active use, something that could lead to future residential use.

click to enlarge CORNISH HOUSE: Proposed as an events facility.
  • CORNISH HOUSE: Proposed as an events facility.

This is the info on the Arch Street proposal.
The Bishop Street plan goes before the Capitol Area committee Wednesday. The other two plans go to the Mansion Area committee Thursday. All should see final consideration at a Commission meeting next week. The Scott Street apartments also face scrutiny from the MacArthur Historic District Commission

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