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Aug 5, 2005, 5:37 AM
300 Third Tower
17 story condo development in downtown Little Rock
The building will rise 218 feet, offering residents views of the Arkansas River, the Clinton Presidential Library and Park to the east and the downtown skyline to the west.
300 Third Tower (http://www.mosestucker.com/3rd.html)
Heifer International Headquarters
Headquarters of the international relief organization
The Heifer International Center is adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Library and Park, located on a 26-acre tract of land near the Arkansas River. The new building will enable the organization to regroup its staff and save money while creating a focal point for hunger education in America.
Heifer International Headquarters (http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.201577/k.CD63/Green_Building_News.htm)
The Enclave at the Riverfront Apartments
New apartment development across the river from downtown Little Rock
The Enclave at the Riverfront is a 260-unit mid-rise apartment complex being developed by Bomasada Group, Inc. in the rapidly expanding area of downtown North Little Rock, Arkansas. This project will meet the pent-up and growing demand for quality residential living for people who want to live in one of the mid-south’s most highly desirable areas.
The Enclave at the Riverfront (http://www.bomasada.com/northlittlerock.html)
Aug 17, 2005, 6:05 PM
Heifer International Receives $3.5 Million Gift
By Wesley Brown
Arkansas News Bureau email@example.com
LITTLE ROCK — The family of an Episcopalian bishop and a wealthy oil heiress donated $3.5 million to Heifer International to build an education wing next to the nonprofit's new world headquarters in the downtown River Market district.
The family of Polly Murphy Keller Winter, a member of the Murphy Oil family whose late husband was the bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas, announced the gift during a ceremony Tuesday at Heifer's squeezed downtown offices.
Jo Luck, president and chief executive officer of Heifer, said the gift will go toward building a new hunger education center, which will be named the Polly Murphy and Christoph Keller Jr. Education Center.
"This is a very special day for us," Luck said of the largest financial gift ever for the world hunger organization. "This will help us increase our impact on hunger and poverty."
Luck said the education center will be separate from the nonprofit's new $14 million headquarters, which is scheduled to be completed and ready for a grand opening on March 16.
The Rev. Christoph Keller III, son of the late Right Rev. Christoph Keller Jr. and theologian-in-residence at St. Margaret's Cathedral in Little Rock, said that his family decided to make the multimillion-dollar gift after a series of initial meetings with Luck and Heifer board members.
"We initially were thinking of a smaller gift," Keller said after the festive ceremony. "All of us are amazed at the transformation that is taking place in downtown Little Rock. We are happy to have this opportunity to participate in this campaign."
Bill Clark, chair of Heifer's current fund-raising efforts, said the nonprofit's world headquarters and 26-acre campus are being completed in three phases at a cost of more than $75 million.
The grand opening of the world headquarters will end the first phase, "and that is on schedule and nearing completion," Luck said.
The construction of the education center and a wetlands area surrounding the offices will complete the second stage of the project, which is more than halfway to its $12.5 million goal, Clark said.
Groundbreaking on the center is expected to begin after a nine-month planning period, and will take up to 18 months to complete, he said.
Aug 17, 2005, 6:55 PM
The River Market District developement over the last 10 years has been wonderful. I grew up in Little Rock, and while I probably won't move back there, I'd grab a downtown condo in a heartbeat if I did.
300 Third is the old office design place, right? Did that building get demo'd already? I was home in May but didn't venture through that part of downtown because of Riverfest.
I like the new Axciom building, but that parking deck near I-30 is an abomination.
edit - And how about the new ballpark in NLR?
Aug 18, 2005, 4:05 AM
300 Third is going up where Innerplan is now. It hasn't been demoed yet. They are still building Innerplan's new facility off Maumelle Blvd.
North Little Rock passed the two year 1 cent sales tax to build the new ballpark. They are going to try to have it finished by the start of the 2007 baseball season. Final plans should be completed in a few months, but preliminary plans look good.
Aug 18, 2005, 3:33 PM
nice to see things goin on. don't hear much about LR
Aug 21, 2005, 6:19 AM
Architect proposes turning LR stadium into mixed-use space
BY ANDREW DEMILLO ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
Little Rock leaders should consider preserving a portion of Ray Winder Field and replacing part of the 73-year-old minor league ballpark with a glassencased development, a Little Rock architect told an advisory group Friday.
Reese Rowland, who designed Heifer International’s headquarters now under construction in Little Rock, told a task force looking at the future of Ray Winder Field and the War Memorial Park area that the field could be preserved for high school and college games while a portion of the grandstand could be converted into an enclosed space.
Rowland addressed the group in its first meeting since the passage of a North Little Rock sales tax ensured that the minor league Arkansas Travelers will leave their home in Little Rock’s midtown by 2007.
"There’s more options we have than just baseball," said Rowland, a member of the task force. "You don’t have to bulldoze it just because there’s not a baseball team there anymore."
Rowland showed his sketches of a renovated ballpark to the group 10 days after North Little Rock voters approved a two-year sales tax increase to build a $28 million stadium for the Travelers. The sales tax increase, expected to generate $32 million to $33 million in revenue, will take effect Oct. 1.
The task force, headed by City Director Stacy Hurst, was formed in January and already has heard proposals including allowing the Little Rock Zoo to build an elephant exhibit on the 10-acre Ray Winder property.
Now that the Travelers’ move has been decided, Hurst said a flood of suggestions has come into City Hall, ranging from replacing the stadium with an aquarium to turning it into a soccer complex.
"There’s a lot of interest in what we’re going to do with this field," Hurst said. "It’s a Little Rock landmark. It’s a part of our history, and we want to make sure we do the right thing with this."
The task force reviewed the proposals they’ve already heard for the field and the surrounding 200-acre War Memorial Park area, but Hurst said she wants more detailed proposals for use of the steel-and-concrete facility when the Travelers move. Hurst said she hopes to present proposals to city leaders in the next six months.
Rowland said the field part of the stadium could be preserved and about 2,500 of the seats in the 6,000-seat facility could be used in a renovation project. The remaining seats could be replaced with an indoor structure with uses ranging from office space to a community center.
That renovation, Rowland said, could convert part of the stadium into a two-floor, 30,000-square-foot glass facility.
The renovation would help save Ray Winder, the seventholdest minor league stadium still in operation in the United States, while still developing a new attraction for the area, said Rowland, who suggested the development could be partnered with the neighboring zoo or War Memorial Fitness Center.
"My heart says we ought to save this field and save this stadium," he said. "We could make this into one of the neatest buildings in town."
The task force also is considering hiring a private consultant to help the group come up with proposals for replacing or reusing Ray Winder Field and overhauling the park area.
City Manager Bruce Moore said the city will write a request for qualifications for private consultants that the task force can discuss at its next meeting.
Moore said the city also is interested in asking the state, which owns the majority of the land on which Ray Winder sits, to convey the property to Little Rock.
"We may have some great ideas, but we only own a portion of that land," he said.
Sep 20, 2005, 2:24 PM
Californians reveal plan for downtown makeover in LR
BY EDWARD KLUMP AND ANDREW DEMILLO ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
A California firm announced plans Monday to transform five buildings in downtown Little Rock into a mixed-use project known as Lafayette Square.
The heart of the development will be 94 condominiums in the Lafayette, Arkansas, M.M. Cohn, Kahn and Boyle buildings, all owned by Woodland, Calif.-based Tower Investments LLC. Some office and retail space also will be included in the project.
The buildings — all vacant except for the Lafayette, which has some tenants — are in an area whose boundaries are Sixth Street and Capitol Avenue, and Louisiana and Main streets.
The Main Street area has seen plans come and go over the years and has generally fallen into disuse.
This proposal will become reality even if others haven’t, said Alex Marks, a senior vice president with Tower.
"They didn’t have the vision that we do," he said, adding that "high risk equals high return."
Standing in the Lafayette, a former hotel, on Monday, Dickson Flake of Little Rock-based Colliers Dickson Flake Partners agreed that Tower’s proposal is different from past efforts in the area.
"It’s the concept of the whole block that’s made the difference," he said.
The Dickson firm is involved in the project’s leasing and management. Marks declined on Monday to put a price tag on the development, but Flake said Tower’s commitment of capital is significant.
"That’s the real validation of a market," Flake said.
Flake added that Tower brings a lot of enthusiasm as well as a new perspective to the area.
The first phase of Lafayette Square will involve putting 30 condominiums in the top five floors of the 10-story Lafayette building. That work is scheduled to start in November and be finished in May. The prices of the finished condominiums range from about $160,000 to about $325,000 for early commitments. The condominiums will range from about 1,000 square feet to 1,700 square feet. Office space will remain in floors one through five of the building.
Work on the second phase is to start next summer and end about a year later. It will involve 64 condominiums in the Arkansas, M.M. Cohn, Kahn and Boyle buildings.
The ground floors of those buildings will be reserved for commercial use, such as shops and restaurants.
Ross McCain with Wilcox Group-Architects of Little Rock said about two-thirds of the M.M. Cohn, Kahn and Arkansas buildings will be torn down to make room for more than 100 parking spaces.
The Lafayette and 12-story Boyle Building will remain intact, and parking also will be available at a parking lot near the Lafayette. The Wilcox firm is working on the project’s architecture. May Construction is the general contractor. More information is available at www.lafayettesquare-lr.com.
Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey and City Manager Bruce Moore said they hoped the project would revitalize the Main Street corridor in the same way the River Market area was transformed several years ago. Though the corridor is lacking major city-funded anchors such as the River Market hall or the main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System, Moore said the city is investing in the surrounding neighborhood.
"I think you’ll continue to see a combination of the public and the private partnering for an investment in this area," Moore said, pointing to a proposal to use $250,000 in bond money to repave a portion of Capitol Avenue. The proposal to use the money, from a $69 million bond package, will go before the Little Rock Board of Directors tonight.
Moore also said the city would eventually like the River Rail trolley route expanded to run along Main Street, though there are no formal proposals for such an extension.
Though it was once a thriving center of commerce for the city, Little Rock’s Main Street has been littered in recent years with abandoned storefronts and vacant properties. Efforts to revive the flagging neighborhood, including a pedestrian mall, have failed.
Much of the city’s attention on redevelopment has focused on the River Market District, which is near attractions such as the Clinton presidential library and Heifer International’s planned global village and headquarters.
Developers are now looking farther south to areas such as the Main Street and Capitol Avenue areas, Dailey said.
"This is the next great frontier," he said.
Of the River Market District, Dailey observed: "There’s not a lot of other space to be developed in that area."
Becca Gardner, a spokesman for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, said the theater on Main at Sixth Street applied for a grant with the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for a new building. Gardner would not say where the building would go, but said the theater would prefer to stay in the downtown area.
"We would love to stay downtown," she said. "Downtown has been good to us."
Marks said Monday that a lawsuit filed against Tower and three members of his family, including himself, would not derail plans for Lafayette Square.
Robert Berry Francis, a Little Rock businessman, filed the suit in August in the U.S. District Court in Little Rock over what the complaint described as the "Lafayette Plaza Project." The suit made several accusations — breach of contract, reneging on promises, violations of Arkansas common law for fraud and deceit, and unjust enrichment.
The defendants denied those allegations in a response, and they also accused Francis of fraud and deceit. Francis declined to comment Monday on the lawsuit as well as Tower’s announcement.
Jimmy Moses of Little Rockbased Moses Tucker Real Estate, which has worked on a number of downtown projects but is not involved in Lafayette Square, applauded Tower’s plans.
"Main Street needs to become a great street again," he said.
Moses Tucker, meanwhile, is working on the proposed 18-story 300 Third Tower, which is to have 98 condominiums and open in 2007 at Cumberland and Third streets in downtown Little Rock.
Some units in that project will cost more than $1 million, when the finishing of condominium shells is included in the price.
Sep 29, 2005, 1:50 PM
I guess LR is having a dowtown condo boom.....
Bank of England owners plan upscale riverfront condos in LR
BY DAVID SMITH ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
The owners of the Bank of England plan to add five floors onto a riverfront building and offer 12 condominiums — including two that are the most expensive in downtown Little Rock.
The Residences at Building 5 plans call for one upper-story, 6,300-square-foot unfinished space to be offered at a pre-construction price of $2.2 million, Brad Canada said Wednesday. Lonoke County bankers, he and his father, Gary Canada, are partners in the project, expected to be complete by next summer.
The Residences is the latest in a growing number of condo projects in downtown. Residential space is considered crucial to revitalizing downtown, which has suffered from lack of investment in recent years.
The building is a little-noticed, redbrick structure next to the Doubletree Hotel. The seven-story building (including two floors underground) was owned by the Arkansas Bar Foundation until the Canadas, under the name Arkansas Riverview Development LLC, bought it last year for $950,000.
The location offers a panoramic view of the Arkansas River. Across the river from the site for the planned baseball field for the Arkansas Travelers, the site has an impressive view of downtown Little Rock to the south.
"You can sit in your condo and see the river on one side and the skyline on the other," Brad Canada said.
All 12 condos will have views of both the river and Little Rock.
The project will have six stories of condominiums, including the top floor of the existing building. The condominiums will range from about 1,350 square feet, with a pre-construction price of $395,000, to the 11 th-floor condo, which will be almost 6,300 square feet.
The top-floor condo will have a swimming pool. It also will have a large study above the 12th floor connected by a stairway, creating what is essentially a small 13th floor. Brad Canada said he does not plan to offer the top-floor condo for sale, but plans to live in it.
"The requirement from the city and the codes calls for a building that tall to have an auxiliary source for the sprinkler system," said Gary Clough of Taggart Foster Currence Gray Architects Inc. in North Little Rock, which designed the building. "So we decided to put in a swimming pool."
The 10 th-floor condo, which covers almost 5,700 square feet, is going for $1.95 million. After that, it’s a big drop to the next largest condos, two that are about 1,960 square feet and priced at $690,000 and $670,000.
"It’s such a unique building," Brad Canada said from the office of England Lending, a mortgage banking affiliate of Bank of England which is in the building. "We’re just basically sitting something on top of what’s already here. The architects did a good job."
Canada declined to disclose the cost of the project.
Each of the condos will feature a 6-foot-by-12-foot outside balcony, Clough said. The underground floors of the building are connected to the Doubletree’s parking garage, giving residents of the condos reserved parking.
Rett Tucker of Moses Tucker Real Estate said he was pleased to hear about plans for the project.
"It’s another validation of downtown housing," Tucker said, adding that "it’s a neat location" with "great views."
Word of the project comes after Tower Investments LLC of Woodland, Calif., revealed its makeover plans on Sept. 19 for buildings in an area whose boundaries are Sixth Street and Capitol Avenue, and Louisiana and Main streets.
Under that mixed-use plan, 94 condos will be developed in the Lafayette, Arkansas, M.M. Cohn, Kahn and Boyle buildings. The project has two phases, with the second phase scheduled to be finished in 2007.
In recent years, Little Rockbased Moses Tucker has been the leader in creating downtown residential offerings, sometimes in mixed-use buildings.
The firm currently is working on 300 Third Tower, an 18-story building scheduled to open in 2007 and have 98 condos at Cumberland and Third streets. Some units in the project will cost more than $1 million, including the finishing of condominium shells. Moses Tucker’s past projects include the 14-story First Security Center, which opened last year on President Clinton Avenue and has 24 condos.
The seven-story Arkansas Capital Commerce Center at Commerce and Third streets opened in 2002 and has 16 condos. Other projects include the Tuf-Nut Lofts, which has 31 apartments, as well as The Rainwater Flats, which has 20 condos.
When the Canadas bought the riverfront building, they planned only to convert the top floor of the existing building into condominiums. But after looking at the original plans for the building, they discovered that it was built with the idea of adding more floors, Brad Canada said.
Building The Residences at Building 5 will not be a simple process, Clough said.
The Doubletree encroaches slightly over the property line of the Canadas’ building. When the five floors of condos are added, the building will be within 12 inches of the Doubletree, Clough said.
The structural design will prevent the two buildings from touching in extremely high winds, Clough said.
The only marketing for The Residences at Building 5 is an eight-page brochure that was mailed to homes in upscale neighborhoods, Brad Canada said.
CBM Construction of North Little Rock will build the project. Metropolitan National Bank is providing the financing. Information for this article was provided by Edward Klump of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Feb 27, 2006, 6:56 PM
I am a college student working on my architecture studio project on a fictional airport design competition. Turns out, the fictional airport is on the existing site of yours in Little Rock. I've researched a little about it and wondered what you guys thought works well with the existing and what doesn't. Any help would be much appreciated.
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