Tech park agrees to terms of $17.5 million from consortium | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tech park agrees to terms of $17.5 million from consortium

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 5:17 PM

C.J. Duvall, one nay vote on loan offer. He would have liked a city review.
  • C.J. Duvall, one nay vote on loan offer. He would have liked a city review.
The Little Rock Technology Park Authority board this afternoon signed off, with one nay vote, on the terms of two loans totaling $17.5 million offered by a consortium of Little Rock lenders led by Centennial Bank. 

The nay vote came from board member C.J. Duvall, who said he had nothing against the consortium's offer but would have preferred that the City of Little Rock see the proposal before the vote. Other board members, however, said that because the city has no liability, there was no need to delay a vote on the loan offer. The only other question came from board member Kevin Zaffaroni, who sought confirmation that the loans were at market rate. Darrin Williams, a banker and board member, confirmed that it was, as did board member Dickson Flake.

The authority board also agreed to extend the deadline for Richard Mays to accept its offer of $845,000 for his building at 415 Main St. to noon Friday. The deadline had been noon today. Board member and chamber of commerce CEO Jay Chesshir said he'd spoken with Mays over the weekend and that Mays had asked for an extension because he was still studying documentation on the appraisal of the property.

The Mays property is one parcel of several to be acquired by the authority for the development of the technology park. The board has offered a total of $8.5 $10.8 million to Stephens Properties and a related company for Five Main Place at the corner of Fifth and Main, its annex at 417 Main St., the parking lot adjacent to Mays' property, the half block from Fourth to Fifth on Main that is now parking lot and smaller parking lots.

The  $17.5 million will pay for acquisition, renovation and professional services for the first phase of the tech park, which includes renovation of Mays' property and the annex for the first occupants. 

The loan will come in two promissory notes: one, which will be taxable, for $7.9 million, which carries an interest rate of 4.19 percent, and a non-taxable loan for $9.6 million, at 2.9 percent. The non-taxable loans will cover properties under lease to the state, including Five Main Place and tech park partners the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the City of Little Rock.  
The tech park will pay interest on the notes for three years and, when the notes mature, a minimum of 5 percent yearly on the principal. The park will refinance for phase two, which will include more property acquisition and construction.

The park will receive $6,635,040 in tax receipts set aside by the City of Little Rock, which committed $22 million from the 2012 sales tax increase. Collateral for the loan will include the properties and lease value of Five Main Place, which is leased to the state for $755,448.40 a year through 2018, $781,986.40 a year through 2022 and $809,409 through 2027. 

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