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LIT uPP

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  1. That half block is owned by Walter Hussman, owner of WEHCO Media and the Arknsas Democrat-Gazette. The ADG offices are on the block immediately to the southwest of this lot. There seems to be some excited anticipation about his future plans after he buys the alley, but this may just be wishful thinking.
  2. This looks like it will be a nice addition to the Riverdale area. A subsidiary of the American Taekwondo Association has purchased the undeveloped land to the south of Riverdale Road, between Riverfront Drive and Brookwood Drive, for a new "world headquarters" of the ATA. There was an item on the Little Rock Planning Commission agenda a few weeks ago, but the submitters, Martial Arts Services Inc, asked for a delay.
  3. MT's 2009 vision for this block was far more ambitious than the reality taking place today. You can view that vision at the following link: http://www.oxleyartgraphics.com/LRRiverMarket-MTMap.html I wish they would wait a few years for the market to improve in order to announce a more impactful project - if they can regain their financial footing. They must be very disappointed with the current situation, as we all seem to be.
  4. Is this an image of "what might have been" or of "what still might be"? http://www.oxleyartgraphics.com/LRRiverMarket-MTMap.html The above link shows a conceptual rendering of the River Market District as envisioned by Moses Tucker in 2007. Some of the buildings are now reality, such as the Arcade, the River Market Tower, and a hotel at the NE corner of 3rd and River Market - a Residence Inn, although the image clearly indicates the desire was for an Aloft. The most interesting part of the image involves the block where the Arkla building once stood. The rendering shows three modern-looking multi-story buildings, the tallest of which is a 16 story tower. Obviously, part of this concept has changed with the announcement of MacArthur Commons. A hotel has been announced for the northern half of the block, but there has been no official announcement or rendering. Is it possible that Moses Tucker still plans a multi-use tower with the hotel as only one component, or has the weakened economy taken it's toll on the tower plans?
  5. A capsule in last week's Arkansas Business states that a subsidiary of the American Taekwondo Association has purchased the undeveloped land to the south of Riverdale Road, between Riverfront Drive and Brookwood Drive, for a new "world headquarters" of the ATA. There was no mention of timing for the project.
  6. Fencing now surrounds the project, and excavation has begun on the surface parking lot.
  7. The parking lot to the west of the Blass Building has been empty for the past week. The plumbing permits for the Blass Building, parking deck, and annex were recently issued. Looks like the construction and renovation will begin soon.
  8. Arkansas Business reports that two stores should soon occupy the space formerly occupied by Lewis & Clark Outfitters. They are Romeoville, IL based Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc and Charlotte, NC based Versona Accessories. The president and CEO of Midtowne’s owner, Miller Capital Advisory, believes the center should be 100% leased by the end of the year.
  9. Refer to post 87, above. It will be a Jimmy John's sandwhich shop.
  10. Arkansas Business reports that the NLR owners of the Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches franchise will tear down the old building at the SW corner of Broadway and 7th Street that once housed the Millionaire’s Room and build a new Jimmy John’s restaurant in its place. They should be open for business by October.
  11. According to Arkansas Business, Lowe’s is eyeing the parcel of land at the NW corner of Kanis and Bowman. I may be remembering this incorrectly, but it seems like they (or another big-box retailer) attempted to place a store in this location several years ago, but were denied. Since that time, I’ve heard rumors periodically that they were still looking in West Little Rock, but it seems strange that they would attempt to build at the originally planned location (with seemingly the same issues), when there are several other options available. In another Bowman Road-related item, Larry’s Pizza will open a restaurant in the former Dragon Palace Buffet location at the Bowman Station shopping center – 801 South Bowman Road.
  12. What a coincidence that you would ask this, now. I was just about to remark about the vacant former KARK lot. The last of the old building was removed three months ago and still no surface parking lot, as the new owners had stated were the short-term plans. If those truly were the plans, that blacktop would have taken less than a week to pour, and we would today be looking at Alley/Hatcher’s new parking lot. Instead, the space is still fenced and unfinished. Also interesting to note is the fact that the space across Center Street which was also a site of a tear-down, had some crews working there, last week. It appeared that they were tearing up the surface concrete. That site is also fenced. Soon after the KARK demolition was announced, one of the local business publications had an interview with Sam Alley (one of the partners) or his brother. While I can’t remember the exact wording of his statement, he said something akin to: “Will Little Rock ever have another 40 story building? I don’t think so. Will it ever have another 25 story building? It’s possible that someday, someone will build one – maybe even us.” It would seem a little awkward to construct a tower right in front of the Tower Building, but I guess they could build something on the eastern side of that block and not obstruct the view of the Tower Building tenants. In any event, the fact that they haven’t yet installed the new surface parking lot leads me to speculate that they are readying something bigger.
  13. A children’s clothing store called Crazy 8, a brand that is part of the Gymboree Corporation, will locate in the Promenade, according to the Arkansas Department of Health’s engineering permit website.
  14. An opinion piece in Arkansas Business, written by the publisher, Jeff Hankins, and entitled “Retail Resurrection,” highlights the improving prospects for various Little Rock area retail projects, including the Promenade. Regarding the Promenade, he mentions three forthcoming unique-to-the-market “destination retailers.” Two of them – Apple and J. Crew – are already known, but I had not heard that Nike planned to open a store in Little Rock. I don’t know how or if Hankins has confirmed this. Has anyone else heard about Nike?
  15. Arkansas Business reports today of a plan to construct a five-story office building and a parking deck at 1417 West Sixth Street, which appears to be just south of the Victory Building and just east of the State Capitol complex. A complaint has been filed against the Capitol Zoning District Commission, because of the criteria it used to grant a height variance for the project. The advertising, marketing and public relations firm Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods is among the rumored tenants for the new building.
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