Main Street continues to buzz with redevelopment talk | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 20, 2014

Main Street continues to buzz with redevelopment talk

Posted By on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 3:36 PM

click to enlarge RENOVATION PROJECT: Talk continues of converting building for new use. But Bennett's will stay downtown, owning family says.
  • RENOVATION PROJECT: Talk continues of converting building for new use. But Bennett's will stay downtown, owning family says.

Slow day, not surprising for a holiday. But my phone's been buzzing about downtown Little Rock (and with the buzzing outside my window where a parking deck is going up adjacent to our home in the Heritage West building at Markham and Scott Streets.)

There's tech park talk, for one thing. Will that project, with the gestational period of a herd of elephants combined, ever get going? And will it get going downtown, or will the resistance of Tech Park Authority members Mary Good, Bob Johnson and Dickson Flake, through Flake's hand-picked adviser Charles Dilks, finally defeat that? Jeff Yates, the real estate man hired to locate space downtown, will be under careful scrutiny to be an even-handed intermediary.

But there's more happening than tech talk.

Doug Meyer tells me his Terraforma LLC real estate development company is converting 823 Main, the former Peerless Engraving building, into Downtown Storage. It will be a climate-controlled facility for document storage and, particularly, extra closet space for the hoped-for rising tide of apartment and condo dwellers in the buildings being redeveloped downtown.

And speaking of Doug Meyer: He figures prominently in one of the hottest rumors of the moment, that a redevelopment is planned of the Fulk Building at Third and Main, occupied by his wife Sheree's Bennett's Military Supplies, a 146-year Little Rock fixture.

One rumor has it that Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, the ad/PR firm, is looking at leasing the building as a new home. The firm, currently leasing on Capitol Avenue, is reportedly attracted to the developing "vibe" on Main Street — tech park, creative corridor, arts institutions and so forth.

Here's what CJRW said, in a statement from CEO Wayne Woods:

For several months, we have been taking a close look at what we will need in terms of facilities as the agency continues to develop in terms of services, technologies and professional staff. That assessment has included our current location in downtown Little Rock, as well as other options that there may be. The process is ongoing and there is no particular timetable for a final decision. Any decision will be based on what is in the best interest of our clients, our company and the community moving forward…..Wayne Woods, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods.

Meyer said he was bound by confidentiality. But he acknowledged being at work on a potential tenant for the Fulk Building and also for the building his Crystal LLC recently acquired across the street at 301 Main, where Mr. Cool has been a tenant. Whatever happens, he said be sure to mention that Bennett's Military was going to stay in Little Rock, preferably on Main Street, whatever happens.

That ain't all. Word's circulating of even bigger deals farther south. I hope to be able to pass along more soon.

click to enlarge POSSIBLE PUZZLE PIECE: The building housing Mr. Cool has the same owner as the Bennett's building across the street. It could figure in redevelopment plans. - GOOGLE STREET VIEW
  • Google street view
  • POSSIBLE PUZZLE PIECE: The building housing Mr. Cool has the same owner as the Bennett's building across the street. It could figure in redevelopment plans.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Saturday's open line includes Kavanaugh news and a stunning political ad

    Here's the open line. For entertainment, if you have one minute, watch this political ad against  Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona. Wait for it.   In other news: It appears the hearing is on for Christine Blasey Ford to talk about Brett Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault of her when she was 15 and he was an older high school student.
    • Sep 22, 2018
  • Remembering an ‘enemy of the people’ of 1957

    David Margolick pays tribute today in a New York Times op-ed to Jerry Dhonau, the former Arkansas Gazette editorial writer who died recently. He invoked a modern theme.
    • Sep 22, 2018
  • UA-Little Rock copes with enrollment decline and charter high school

    UA-Little Rock is facing a financial pinch because of a sharp drop in enrollment and Chancellor Andrew Rogerson talked bluntly about it Friday in a campus meeting, remarks that included a reference to simmering unhappiness over the eStem charter high school that opened on campus last year.
    • Sep 22, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Free Zinn book for Arkansas teachers

    Arkansas teachers! Get your free Howard Zinn book here! Whether Kim Hendren likes it or not.
    • Mar 3, 2017
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back.
    • Mar 10, 2017
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017


Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation