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A news release by the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, dated today, mentions that something is upcoming for Main Street. It says that within the next few weeks the Mayor will announce a new development for Main Street.

Also, a permit has been issued for Porter's Jazz Cafe, located at 315 Main Street.

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" That's complete BS.  I took it the way everybody else who reads that took it. " Don't speak for me. The main BS  I see on this post is from you and you telling theman to shut up. It is his opinion a

There is talk about Reed's properties on Main Street changing hands to a new buyer who intends on finishing the block and getting the projects completed.  Let's hope for the best.

As far as getting together for meets, just try one every now and then to see how attendance is and get the thought form everyone. The one thing that has made our forum run smoother is the fact that ma

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A news release by the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, dated today, mentions that something is upcoming for Main Street. It says that within the next few weeks the Mayor will announce a new development for Main Street.

Also, a permit has been issued for Porter's Jazz Cafe, located at 315 Main Street.

315 Main Street. Work is going on inside the building but a lot has to be done.

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Thanks for the updates skirby. Do we know what's going on with the rest of the building?

Have no idea but the space on the right side of the building has no floor. You can look in the window a see a very deep basement,it would make a great wine cellar. The interior of this building is gutted but looks like it is in good shape.

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Is this the new development mentioned by the Downtown Partnership?

City of Little Rock news release: "Mayor Mark Stodola announced today that the City of Little Rock will receive technical assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency to continue its progress toward revitalizing the city’s Main Street corridor. The EPA award, called Greening America’s Capitals, will enable urban planners and landscape architects to visit Little Rock and create streetscapes that will help the City continue to restore Main Street as a cultural and economic center. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced that Little Rock was one of five cities selected out of 38 that applied to the EPA for this program."

My question is will these streetscapes be on paper only? There is no mention of funding.

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Is this the new development mentioned by the Downtown Partnership?

City of Little Rock news release: "Mayor Mark Stodola announced today that the City of Little Rock will receive technical assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency to continue its progress toward revitalizing the city’s Main Street corridor. The EPA award, called Greening America’s Capitals, will enable urban planners and landscape architects to visit Little Rock and create streetscapes that will help the City continue to restore Main Street as a cultural and economic center. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson announced that Little Rock was one of five cities selected out of 38 that applied to the EPA for this program."

My question is will these streetscapes be on paper only? There is no mention of funding.

At this point I don't think a lack of plans for the corridor is a problem. The problem is a lack of implementation. How many more experts do we need to fly in to tell us what we already know?

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Very exciting. I've copied the article and link below.

http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2010/sep/14/club-lofts-planned-lr-20100914/

Club, lofts planned for LR

Apartments called ‘first domino’ of Main Street revitalization

LITTLE ROCK — The boards have come down from the windows of an old Gus Blass Co. building at 315 S. Main St., breathing new life into the nearly 110-year-old building - and with it, the city’s hopes for Main Street revitalization.

The building is being renovated to house 30 loft-style apartments and a jazz club and restaurant. Building plans will be unveiled today in a news conference held by Mayor Mark Stodola and Bob East of the Downtown Little Rock Partnership at 11 a.m.

“We’re thrilled. This will be the first announcement on Main Street, on a block that we’ve focused on for about a year,” said Sharon Priest, director of the Downtown Partnership. Priest said the partnership has been working with Reed Realty Advisors, the California and Portland, Ore.-based firm that owns the building.

Scott Reed, a partner in Reed Realty who works in Little Rock, said the apartments will be ready in about a year.

Reed said the units will be “finished out toward the high end of the market” in terms of design and amenities but priced “toward the low end” - units will be about 750 square feet on average and will rent for about $1 per square foot.

The building will also be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, as a “green” building.

Reed said he’s had his eye on the 300 to 400 block of Main Street since before he moved to Little Rock two years ago from Portland, as one of the few parts of Main that still have all the original buildings intact.

“I just said, ‘This is right in the absolute path of growth in the middle of everything. I don’t know how this building is just sitting here.’”

Reed said his firm came to Little Rock looking for investment opportunities in a market they thought might be less prone to the effects of the real estate downturn and the recession, as projects in California and Las Vegas “got their heads chopped off.” And downtown redevelopment is part of what attracted them, he said.

Though some downtown condominium projects have been slow to fill, Reed said low apartment-vacancy rates and high occupancy rates indicate there is untapped demand for downtown apartment living.

“We’re hoping Main Street becomes the place where you live. You play on President Clinton [Ave.], you work in the core of downtown, and you live on Main Street,” Reed said.

The Lafayette Square building on Louisiana Street started out as exclusively condominiums, but changed its strategy to offer some leases. A project manager with California-based Tower Investments, which owns the building, said earlier this year that the switch and additional price reductions were “absolutely a good strategy” and helped attract people to the building.

Tower Investments originally had grander plans for Lafayette Square, but put three of those buildings, and the old YMCA building on Broadway, back on the market.

Reed said that when he pointed the Main Street building out to Stodola on a drive around the city as one of several properties he was interested in on Main Street, Stodola offered to talk to the owners.

“He said, ‘I know who owns those buildings, let me talk to him.’ And that’s how the conversation started with Mr. [Dean] Kumpuris,” Reed said.

In a deal Reed said was engineered by Stodola and Kumpuris, Reed Realty Advisors bought out Little Rock City Director Kumpuris’ Dee Dee Kay corporation for a “very reasonable” price. With it came ownership of the building.

“For some reason some parties are sensitive to me saying any numbers, but I’ll tell you it was a favorable transaction, and the Kumpuris family was really dedicated to seeing this done sooner rather than later and made the price that attractive,” Reed said.

Efforts to contact Kumpuris on Monday night were unsuccessful.

The 313-315 block of Main Street has an appraised value of $487,614 according to the Pulaski County assessor’s website.

City leaders and developers are hoping that the plans for the Main Street building will signal the beginning of a new phase in downtown revitalization.

The apartment pricing is part of a deliberate strategy to position the building as “the first domino” kicking off future development of buildings on Main Street.

“We’re going to price it to attract [people]. We want to get the units occupied,” Reed said.

Hundreds of people responding to the Downtown Partnership’s online survey of attitudes toward the downtown area and Main Street said they want to live downtown, but find the area unappealing as it is now. But Reed said the apartments will be a good first step toward bringing more people and businesses to the area, solving the “chicken and egg” problem that people don’t want to move to an area with no attractions, but businesses are reluctant to move into an area with few residents.

“For how many vacancies there are on Main Street, you’d be surprised at how many people want to open businesses there,” Reed said.

Information for this article was contributed by Kristin Netterstrom of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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  • 6 months later...

In an article about forming a TIF district for Main St., in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the Fulk Building was mentioned. This building now is home to Bennett's Military Supplies. The article says that Bennett's will relocate and the building will be renovated into commercial, office space and apartments. If this occurs, along with the Jazz Cafe across the street the 300 block of Main might see other redevelopment in the near future.

The Fulk Building built in 1900.

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Edited by skirby
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  • 2 months later...

Work continues on Porter's Jazz Cafe. As you can see the plywood has been taken off most of the windows. I can't remember when the last time it was that these windows were exposed.

What a nice looking building...it has great lines. I'm glad to see it being rehabilitated.

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Has anyone has anyone heard of any rumors of a new skycraper coming to Downtown Little Rock? Someone told me construction in 3rd Street will be a high rise of 25 stories or more. Not sure if I can believe that because of the limited amount of space and plus it's close to a school.

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I have not heard of anything new really like that in that area, I kind of find that hard to believe seeing as several of the towers have a lot of empty spaces and in general 25 stories seems to be a bit higher than what they seem to be going with lately. Now if they want to build a new one and can fill it up and make it useful I have nothing against improving Little Rock's skyline :D

-R

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Has anyone has anyone heard of any rumors of a new skycraper coming to Downtown Little Rock? Someone told me construction in 3rd Street will be a high rise of 25 stories or more. Not sure if I can believe that because of the limited amount of space and plus it's close to a school.

Interesting. It seems doubtful, though I have heard - from multiple sources working on the project - of a new mixed-use building downtown. I didn't take it that it was THAT tall, but I didn't really press the issue either.

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Has anyone has anyone heard of any rumors of a new skycraper coming to Downtown Little Rock? Someone told me construction in 3rd Street will be a high rise of 25 stories or more. Not sure if I can believe that because of the limited amount of space and plus it's close to a school.

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.

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I would love to see an addition to the skyline. Hopefully the rumor I heard is actually a fact. I know 25 stories doesn't seem like much, but looking at Little Rock's size and at the 300 3rd and River Market towers, they added something to the skyline. We have a low level skyline, but it looks nicer than most cities its size.

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  • 1 month later...

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a #150,000 grant to the city in order to develop a corridor for the arts on Main Street. The money will be used to promote an artist community in four vacant building across from the REP. This "creative corridor" on Main will center on the visual and performing arts.

In a city news release it states: "This phase of the Creative Corridor project will focus on the design of a segment of the Corridor. On the south end, and across the street from the Repertory Theater (which is undergoing a $6 million dollar renovation), four buildings will be renovated for mixed use to cluster local performing arts non-profit organizations such as the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas, and other dance organizations, along with theater education class space and visual artist studios attached to a gallery showcasing museum school artists from the nearby Arkansas Arts Center."

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The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a #150,000 grant to the city in order to develop a corridor for the arts on Main Street. The money will be used to promote an artist community in four vacant building across from the REP. This "creative corridor" on Main will center on the visual and performing arts.

In a city news release it states: "This phase of the Creative Corridor project will focus on the design of a segment of the Corridor. On the south end, and across the street from the Repertory Theater (which is undergoing a $6 million dollar renovation), four buildings will be renovated for mixed use to cluster local performing arts non-profit organizations such as the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arkansas, and other dance organizations, along with theater education class space and visual artist studios attached to a gallery showcasing museum school artists from the nearby Arkansas Arts Center."

Update to the above post.

Reed Realty Advisors is backing this plan. This company is behind the development of Porter's Jazz Cafe and the apartments above it. Reed wants to buy the four building on the west side of the 500 block of Main and redevelop them. The plans include 124 apartments in the Arkansas Building and annex at a price that artists can afford. The company says That within a years time it can turn the ground floor of the Arkansas Building into studio and exhibit space for the visual and performing arts.

I think much of this depends on if Reed can purchase the buildings from Tower Investments. Tower Investments has these properties listed for sale because their Lafayette Square plans did not work out.

This is the best news for Main Street development to come out in a long time.

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Update to the above post.

Reed Realty Advisors is backing this plan. This company is behind the development of Porter's Jazz Cafe and the apartments above it. Reed wants to buy the four building on the west side of the 500 block of Main and redevelop them. The plans include 124 apartments in the Arkansas Building and annex at a price that artists can afford. The company says That within a years time it can turn the ground floor of the Arkansas Building into studio and exhibit space for the visual and performing arts.

I think much of this depends on if Reed can purchase the buildings from Tower Investments. Tower Investments has these properties listed for sale because their Lafayette Square plans did not work out.

This is the best news for Main Street development to come out in a long time.

If Tower Investments couldn't make it work out, then.....

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If Tower Investments couldn't make it work out, then.....

As you remember Tower Investments plan was to develop condos, which included demolishing the backside of the Arkansas building and building a parking deck. The new plans center on apartments and with the market the way it is the cost to Reed might be less than what Tower paid for the buildings.

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Update to the above post.

Reed Realty Advisors is backing this plan. This company is behind the development of Porter's Jazz Cafe and the apartments above it. Reed wants to buy the four building on the west side of the 500 block of Main and redevelop them. The plans include 124 apartments in the Arkansas Building and annex at a price that artists can afford. The company says That within a years time it can turn the ground floor of the Arkansas Building into studio and exhibit space for the visual and performing arts.

I think much of this depends on if Reed can purchase the buildings from Tower Investments. Tower Investments has these properties listed for sale because their Lafayette Square plans did not work out.

This is the best news for Main Street development to come out in a long time.

That is good news. I'm really looking forward to the Jazz cafe and apartments being completed. I can't help but wonder if seeing a building like that revitalized and active in that stretch of Main won't help spark more interest from developers. To hear they're looking at getting involved in more apartment projects in that area is very good news. Main St. isn't really ready to draw in the higher end condo crowd, as we've already seen, but with the high apartment occupancy rate in downtown, I think apartment projects will help the area look more active in addition to increasing the downtown population. I hope they succeed in their plans.

As you remember Tower Investments plan was to develop condos, which included demolishing the backside of the Arkansas building and building a parking deck. The new plans center on apartments and with the market the way it is the cost to Reed might be less than what Tower paid for the buildings.

I think this is the real key difference here- Tower's plan was very ambitious and required money and market conditions they didn't have when the time to continue moving forward came. Reed's plan is still ambitious in a sense, but should involve a lot less money and is aimed at a market that is expected to continue to be strong. It's less money and I think it's less of a gamble, which should make it easier to succeed with their plan. If the Reed plans do well, then maybe more ambitious projects will be more realistic/attainable for that area.

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  • 1 month later...

There was an article on the Democrat Gazette today about the impending completion of the remodel of the Arkansas Repertory Theater downtown- it sounds like they're finishing up the last phase of the $6 million project. In this last $1 million segment of work they have made significant upgrades to the theater space, have upgraded the entrance and lobby area, renovated the bathrooms, remodeled and reopened a bar in the space that used to be Club Mezz, and updated the concession stand and box office.

The article is here: http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2011/sep/11/rep-reborn-20110911/?latest

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  • 2 months later...

Two items showing up for Main Street. The city is trying to convince Pulaski Tech to build their new culinary school at 6th and Main instead of locating it out on I-30. The second is Moses Tucker's planned 100,000 square foot mixed use development. This project would be the redevelopment of the Gus Blass building at 4th and Main. The office space for the project has already been leased and MT will also include 12 retail/restaurant spaces as well as 44 rental housing units and a 250 space parking deck in the project. The only thing holding up the project at this time is financing.

This building is across the street from the K Lofts, which includes Porter's Jazz Cafe as well as 30 planned apartments.

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