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Aporkalypse

Downtown Little Rock Condominiums

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The view from one of the units in The Residence at Building 5. There are other views available from the MLS listing of this building.

picturefromresidencesatkk4.jpg

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KATV 7 was interviewing Jim Dailey. former mayor, about a condo project he is working on for the La Harpe area. It will contain 40 + units and construction is to start after the first of the year.

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There's a nice article in this week's Ark Times about the townhomes being built near Union Station and the hopes it will bring more residential and urban renewal to that area.

I think that all that needs to happen for that area to take off is move the Salvation Army mission there. There are a ton of vagrants in that area day and night because of the mission. Otherwise, that area is ripe for redevelopment.

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Checking the MLS listings for downtown LR there are 28 condo units listed above $500,000. Three of these are listed above $1 million. River Market Tower tops out at $1,370,000 and the other million plus units are at the Residences at Building 5 and the Arkansas Capital Commerce Center. Of the 25 less than a million units there are 10 at River Market Tower, 7 at 300 Third Tower, 6 at the Residences at Building 5 and 1 each at the First Security Center and Quapaw Towers. Not all of these units are new and the ones in the River Market Tower will not be completed until 2009.

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I wonder how many dwellings there are in downtown Little Rock... with all these new projects going on I bet there are quite a few. Right now KC has about 2,800 dwellings and Springfield's loft boom has put the number at 800+. I would almost think that Little Rock would be somewhere in the 1500+ range once all these projects are done, but I don't know... maybe someone would have some info on that.

Regarding the main street area, that really reminds me of what Downtown Springfield's square are looked like before revitalization. That area of Downtown Little Rock would be perfect for urban housing and an entertainment district i.e. restuarants, bars, shops... I just don't understand why the developers haven't jumped all over that. I could be wrong, but isn't Main St. west of the business district downtown?

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I wonder how many dwellings there are in downtown Little Rock... with all these new projects going on I bet there are quite a few. Right now KC has about 2,800 dwellings and Springfield's loft boom has put the number at 800+. I would almost think that Little Rock would be somewhere in the 1500+ range once all these projects are done, but I don't know... maybe someone would have some info on that.

Regarding the main street area, that really reminds me of what Downtown Springfield's square are looked like before revitalization. That area of Downtown Little Rock would be perfect for urban housing and an entertainment district i.e. restuarants, bars, shops... I just don't understand why the developers haven't jumped all over that. I could be wrong, but isn't Main St. west of the business district downtown?

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Thanks for contributing to the thread...always nice to have outside input!

Main Street is east of the CBD. All of the financial centers/high-rise office towers developed in the 70's and 80's occurred along Capitol Avenue west of (and perpendicular to) Main Street. The good thing about that is that in essence, Main Street remains much the same scale as it was originally developed. Its hard to say why the most recent boom occurred east of Main Street (leaving Main between the CBD and the River Market District - which in essence places it in a strategic location). Here's my opinion (which is sheer speculation):

Main Street is a relatively dense urban fabric, is commercial/retail in nature, and likely commanded a higher price than the alternate/eventual development of the River Market, which was less dense, less expensive, and was more of a warehouse district, which of course is a common catalyst for desirable adaptive reuse.

The cool thing is that a completely new, vibrant district was created where there was none before. Quite frankly, it has its own skyline now. On one hand, its nice, but on the other hand, an opportunity was lost regarding redevelopment of main street. Again however, Main Street finds itself in a unique and strategic location between the CBD and the River Market. No doubt it will become the next focus...hopefully the streetcar line will be extended along this route to form a catalyst.

p.s. I'm unsure about the number of downtown living units. Are you simply referring to recent/new developments or total? I would suspect that your guess in number between Springfield and KC is about right... Although this doesn't give hard data, here is a link to a list of current loft/condo development: http://www.downtownlr.com/index.php?fuseac...=&rec_id=74 Check out the balance of that site for more information.

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Looks like the Donaghey Building is in play again,according to the Arkansas Times. RHA/Housing Inc., a Georgia developer, wants to buy it and the parking deck across the street with a HUD/FHA insured loan. It does not say if the building will be turned into apartments or not. The last plan was to turn it into condos.

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Looks like the Donaghey Building is in play again,according to the Arkansas Times. RHA/Housing Inc., a Georgia developer, wants to buy it and the parking deck across the street with a HUD/FHA insured loan. It does not say if the building will be turned into apartments or not. The last plan was to turn it into condos.

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I would much rather see apartments than condos for this one. Hopefully this developer will see how many other condo projects are in play in this market and make appropriate adjustments to his offerings.

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Agree. The main demographic that will jump at living downtown, students and young professionals in their 20s have very limited options. Block 2 isn't managed right and is mixed income, it's not practical to walk across the bridge from NLR from the new development there, and that's really about it. When the housing market is in bad shape, which it is, demand for rental properties goes way up. Right now is the time to build or convert into apartments. I'm sure they will go over well.

I think the Lafayette Square folks should think about taking some of the development and making them rental units instead of condos.

If you get all of this new residential on Main filled up there will be a handful of new restaurants and bars pop up underneath them to serve that population, which may finally help us connect Main to the rest of the gentrified portion of downtown.

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Is there a reason developers prefer condos when apartments would be a much more popular option? If the condos don't sell can they automatically be rented out as apartments? Are developers forgetting that this is Arkansas and the demographic wealthy enough to buy a condo is more likely to prefer a suburban, exurban, or rural home?

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Agree. The main demographic that will jump at living downtown, students and young professionals in their 20s have very limited options. Block 2 isn't managed right and is mixed income, it's not practical to walk across the bridge from NLR from the new development there, and that's really about it. When the housing market is in bad shape, which it is, demand for rental properties goes way up. Right now is the time to build or convert into apartments. I'm sure they will go over well.

I think the Lafayette Square folks should think about taking some of the development and making them rental units instead of condos.

If you get all of this new residential on Main filled up there will be a handful of new restaurants and bars pop up underneath them to serve that population, which may finally help us connect Main to the rest of the gentrified portion of downtown.

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According to the website for Lafayette Square they are now renting condos. They were having trouble selling them according to one real estate person because of the high HOA fees.

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They would have a lot easier time if Main street was more developed and had a more attractive view. That side of downtown is still pretty delipitated.

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I think they have a great concept going, its just poorly implemented and the area doesn't sell well. The River Market is great, but the south side of downtown needs much work. If something isn't done about the south side of downtown, this will never reach its full potential. I mean, who wants to look out the window to this?

lafayettevr6.jpg

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I completely agree. A river view is much more compelling, and even those aren't selling well in this market. Witness the ones next to the DoubleTree, where they've only sold two, I believe.

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Lafayette Square in the Lafayette Building is now offering reduced prices for their units. One bedroom units will start under $130,000 for a 1,026 square foot unit. Also, a new secured parking lot across the street is almost ready for owners' use.

p1040489.jpg

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Lafayette Square in the Lafayette Building is now offering reduced prices for their units. One bedroom units will start under $130,000 for a 1,026 square foot unit. Also, a new secured parking lot across the street is almost ready for owners' use.

p1040489.jpg

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