Tech companies want space now; park can't oblige | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tech companies want space now; park can't oblige

Posted By on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 at 6:40 AM

click to enlarge Drawing indicates construction phases.
  • Drawing indicates construction phases.

The Little Rock Technology Park Authority board on Thursday night heard from park Director Brent Birch that two large tech companies and several small ones are eager to move into space on Main Street that the park is negotiating to buy. However, the building, the annex to the Exchange Building at the northeast corner of Fifth and Main, probably won't be ready for occupation until the last quarter of 2015, Birch said.

Two of the companies, which Birch said were software companies, each want a floor, roughly 6,000 square feet on each, and the others want part of floors of the 30,000-square-foot annex owned.

The park will have to come up with roughly $17.5 million to buy the annex and other properties it wants for the park, most of which are owned by Warren Stephens. Because they are developed, the annex and Exchange Building account for most of that cost, Birch said. The park board wants to acquire at one time all properties: the block-long parking lot on the west side of the 400 block of Main, opposite the Exchange Building, the entire block that includes the Exchange Building (Fourth to Fifth and Main to Scott) and a lot at the northeast corner of Fourth and Main. 

Tech Park Authority board member Dickson Flake produced what he called a "model" development plan — one not set in stone — that would include five phases of building. The first phase, the acquisition of the properties, would also include other costs, such as demolition and remediation ($1.45 million), surface parking, general construction ($7.8 million), architectural and engineering fees and furnishings, for a cost of $31,511,500, which would be spent over a period of several years.

Phase II would include a $22.5 million, 30,000-square-foot new parking deck for 800 cars, something Flake said the park needed to "get out in front of" even before demand exists to make sure the park isn't scrambling down the road to provide parking. Phase III would include construction totaling 192,000 square feet at the southeast corner of Fourth and Main (the KATV building and an adjoining eight-story building) for $52.8 million, Phase IV would include construction of six-story, 74,000 square feet building (laboratory space) at the northeast corner of Fourth and Main for $27.75 million and Phase V would be construction of an eight-story, 308,000-square-foot office building on the block-long parking lot on Main for $84.7 million. The entire project totals in the model are around $250 million. It is, of course, a model and not an actual budget, Flake assured board member Tom Butler, the UAMS representative.

The Exchange Building is leased to the State Department of Higher Education, which would keep its lease and provide revenues for the park.  

Jim Church, vice president of KATV owner Sinclair, asked the board what the tech park's timeline was on the KATV building, since it needs 18 to 24 months to relocate. Board Chair Dr. Mary Good replied that they'd let him know when the board knew.

Board member Jay Chesshir asked Birch to organize an event that would publicize the companies currently operating in the park's space at 107 Markham, where the Arkansas Venture Center is now located and which has space available for lease. Chesshir said he'd like to time the event to coincide with an announcement to be made of other new business, which he did not disclose but which he indicated with his hand would be an announcement from the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, which he heads.

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store



Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Arts Center to reveal architectural plan — finally

    The architectural firm designing the renovated Arkansas Arts Center will reveal its concept at the Arts Center starting with champagne at 6 p.m. and the presentation at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27. Jeanne Gang, whose Studio Gang Architects of Chicago have been working on the design, and Arts Center Director Todd Herman will preside.
    • Feb 16, 2018
  • Argenta Art Walk: Rex DeLoney, Gary Cawood, Glennray Tutor

    Rex DeLoney's exhibition "The Brotherhood of Color" at Argenta Gallery (413 Main St. in North Little Rock) features mixed media works about the former slaves who served on Pullman Cars at the end of the 19th century. That's one show you won't want to miss at tonight's after-hours art walk in Argenta, 5-8 p.m.
    • Feb 16, 2018
  • 60th Delta exhibition gets a jury of three: Christensen, Hembrey, Young

    A distinguished threesome — Les Christensen, Shea Hembrey and Brian Young — have been tapped by the Arkansas Arts Center to judge the 60th "Delta Exhibition" to run May 25 through Aug. 26.
    • Feb 14, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Recent Comments


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