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High Rise Condominium Tower Development (General)

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Given the relative explosion of high-rise residential condominium towers recently constructed, under construction, or currently proposed, I thought we should start a post about the topic in general. Here are some interesting facts:

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I think while we aren't there yet, the LR metro will soon reach a saturation point for the luxury condo market. Developers for these types of projects, especially up in NWA, seem to get overly ambitious. I think the existing projects should be completed but additional development should slow down after that. I was hoping to see some sort of high-rise residential in Park Avenue, but with all this other development I am not sure there would be enough demand for it.

Question, do you think these hi-rises would sell better if they were developed into luxury apartments rather than condos?

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Given the relative explosion of high-rise residential condominium towers recently constructed, under construction, or currently proposed, I thought we should start a post about the topic in general. Here are some interesting facts:

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Given the relative explosion of high-rise residential condominium towers recently constructed, under construction, or currently proposed, I thought we should start a post about the topic in general. Here are some interesting facts:

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This is a thread about residential high-rise condominiums. Acxiom River Market Tower is a corporate office building.

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There are also the two eight story condo buildings proposed east of the Clinton Library on the river.

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In this regard, I'm very much a pessimist. I think if all of these projects get completed, saturation will be an understatement!! I don't want to rehash what I said in the Ashford thread but I don't see LR as a hot condo market.

For bchris, I suspect we will begin to see that some of these developments wind up with a property management firm and all but the top 2 or 3 floors will be leased as apartments.

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Nice idea for a topic. Especially for those of us who don't live there but would like to keep up with these types of developments.

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In this regard, I'm very much a pessimist. I think if all of these projects get completed, saturation will be an understatement!! I don't want to rehash what I said in the Ashford thread but I don't see LR as a hot condo market.

For bchris, I suspect we will begin to see that some of these developments wind up with a property management firm and all but the top 2 or 3 floors will be leased as apartments.

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According to a recent poll on one of the local news stations (i forget which one it was), 91% of respondants said they would rather live in a single family home than a condo downtown if money was no option.

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I guess I'll go ahead and disclose this: I was a resident of Block II lofts over the summer while I was doing an internship in LR. I never said anything earlier b/c I didn't want to feel obligated to make commentary.

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I think while we aren't there yet, the LR metro will soon reach a saturation point for the luxury condo market. Developers for these types of projects, especially up in NWA, seem to get overly ambitious. I think the existing projects should be completed but additional development should slow down after that. I was hoping to see some sort of high-rise residential in Park Avenue, but with all this other development I am not sure there would be enough demand for it.

Question, do you think these hi-rises would sell better if they were developed into luxury apartments rather than condos?

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The problem is that Moses Tucker had a handle on demand downtown, now everyone else is causing the problem. They slowly developed their projects starting with smaller multiuse and working up to condo towers. I think they gauged demand well thus far. Now you have these Riverdale projects flooding the market. The worst is the Riviera, which was a nice apartment tower. Converting apartments to condos not only floods the market, it gets rid of that luxury apt niche you are talking about. They're going to have a very low asking price to sell those.

I thought Donaghey and/or Lafayette would do better as apartments.

When Block 2 opened I was 25 and getting my first real salary. I wanted to live there badly and put down a deposit but backed out because I'd heard about the parking nightmare (flooded underground parking) and poor management there. That place has never been run right. Johnny's right about one problem, that living downtown in that area means noise all of the time, inconveniences, etc. That's the trade off. It's the same problem you deal with living downtown in other cities like Memphis or even in large cities like NYC and Chicago. Density causes some inconvenience. Honestly, I think living in the Heights or Hillcrest near Kavanaugh gives you a nice balance - most people can walk to restaurants, stores, etc and it's stylish and urban yet it's relatively quiet and convenient.

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Little Rock's downtown is at a transitionary stage where it has residential spaces downtown, but not the commensurate amenities. Hopefully with time, more and more real density will appear...

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Well, I sort of disagree. I know what living downtown is like in NYC (at least temporarily). My sister lives in Manhattan and I was with her for a little over a week. The noise problem is far worse in Block II lofts because:

a) Clinton Ave. is the entertainment district. So you have a lot of drunk people making lots o' noise.

b) The tower isn't that tall. Fourth flour (my floor) is 40ish feet above the main thoroughfare. In NYC, you're often on the 29th or 30th floor or whatever.

c) I'm pretty sure loud motorcycles/harleydavidsons are banned in NYC. In LR, whenever someone revved a motor it would seem to resonate with my room and amplify severalfold, as if the motorcycle was right there. The sound waves would get trapped between the two walls of the buildings, it seemed.

And the inconveniences aren't simply because of "density." In real dense downtowns, you can walk a couple of blocks to your favorite Sushi restaurant/generalstore/etc. Or take public transportation. Little Rock's downtown is at a transitionary stage where it has residential spaces downtown, but not the commensurate amenities. Hopefully with time, more and more real density will appear...

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Let me weigh in here. All of the past several posts make valid and accurate observations. However, it seems that most of you are being critical that it hasn't instantly transformed into Manhattan (or that you're afraid that it won't). Let's keep this in perspective:

First, downtown Little Rock will NEVER be Manhattan.

Second, does our memory fail us on remembering downtown as recently as 10 years ago? Absolutely NOTHING was happening back then...it was a ghost town. There is a LOT left to be desired, but what a transformation! I would put downtown Little Rock up against any mid-size city in the south unapologetically. Downtown transformation has to start somewhere, and it starts absolutely with PEOPLE, and that is EXACTLY what is happening! The slow but certain increase in population will inevitably lead the market to provide the commensurate services.

It remains to be seen if it evolves into the "ideal" balance of mixed-use that we'd all envision, but it's way too early to be critical. The first steps have not been missteps, they have been the correct steps....

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In this regard, I'm very much a pessimist. I think if all of these projects get completed, saturation will be an understatement!! I don't want to rehash what I said in the Ashford thread but I don't see LR as a hot condo market.

For bchris, I suspect we will begin to see that some of these developments wind up with a property management firm and all but the top 2 or 3 floors will be leased as apartments.

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Certainly, there is a saturation point for every market. But, let's put THIS in perspective...the number of actual units for sale is MINISCULE in relation to the overall population and market size.... Granted, the very high-end of the market such as Ashford and 300 Third is narrow indeed, but these two constitute less than 150 units. I think you'd be surprised at the breadth of the market for full-service living for the relatively well-to-do. Also, remember that many of these unit sales are second residences for people in Arkansas that serves as their LR home.

There could be some fallout for any one particular development, but it would likely do with particulars of that development rather than overall market saturation (I think as Apork pointed out, that the Riviera - unfortunately - might fall into that category). Moses-Tucker has been deliberately developing their condos in a restrained manner, keeping in mind that they've only announced about 1/3 of the residences that they alone plan to ultimately develop downtown - which admittedly may not all be condos (apartments certainly come into the mix).

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Let me weigh in here. All of the past several posts make valid and accurate observations. However, it seems that most of you are being critical that it hasn't instantly transformed into Manhattan (or that you're afraid that it won't). Let's keep this in perspective:

First, downtown Little Rock will NEVER be Manhattan.

Second, does our memory fail us on remembering downtown as recently as 10 years ago? Absolutely NOTHING was happening back then...it was a ghost town. There is a LOT left to be desired, but what a transformation! I would put downtown Little Rock up against any mid-size city in the south unapologetically. Downtown transformation has to start somewhere, and it starts absolutely with PEOPLE, and that is EXACTLY what is happening! The slow but certain increase in population will inevitably lead the market to provide the commensurate services.

It remains to be seen if it evolves into the "ideal" balance of mixed-use that we'd all envision, but it's way too early to be critical. The first steps have not been missteps, they have been the correct steps....

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Let me weigh in here. All of the past several posts make valid and accurate observations. However, it seems that most of you are being critical that it hasn't instantly transformed into Manhattan (or that you're afraid that it won't). Let's keep this in perspective:

First, downtown Little Rock will NEVER be Manhattan.

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300 Third - 90% sold

River Market Tower - 25% sold

Ashford - Some units sold (according to Hathaway... no specific disclosures)

Moses/Tucker says Ashford will NOT saturate the market and boasted about LR's steady growth noting that the market here does not have the extreme booms of some areas... but it does not have the extreme downturns either. I think that's one of the greatest benefits of this area.

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And now, this...

A co-worker tells me that members of the Chi family (as in Chi's restaurants here in Little Rock), have purchased land across from Shackleford Crossing, to use in a mixed-use development including yet another bit of condos. Shackleford south of I-430 is apparently going to be the next traffic headache in town.

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If you think I was saying, "Aw shucks! This ain't as perty and nice as Manhattan!" you missed my point completely. (In fact, I'm surprised you would think that I'd think that.)

I was merely responding to a post that cited big city downtowns, and I used the Manhattan example to fully flesh out why the inconveniences in Little Rock downtown-living are different and not simply justified as naturally occurring problems with "density."

Well, clearly LR has improved. Am I supposed to make an obligatory homer statement before criticizing any aspect of the city ("Although Little Rock has improved vastly over the past decade and a half, [...]"; "DOWNTOWN LR IS SO AWSOME, but [...]," "There are a lot of ginormous buildings, however [...]")?

I'm giving my honest opinion after living there for a while. Before that, I might have looked at the whole situation starry-eyed.

Obviously we all like Little Rock a lot here on this forum. I'm hoping my critiques aren't provoke pangs from Arkansan-inferiority-complexes (i.e. Who does this uppity kid think he is just because his sister lives in Manhattan?).

It's "too early to be critical?" Shall I wait until downtown is "done," then make critiques on the finished product? Should I brush off any shortcomings I dealt with as "growing pains" that will "inevitably" be cured in due time?

In-progress observations/critiques are crucial, not hindrances.

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Moses Tucker are tying to add some mixed use to their projects which are nice but these amenities are like the condos, high end, like the grocery in 300 3rd. I think downtown actually has quite a few amenities but they're hard to find and very spaced out.

I live in the Cliffs, off of Chester, right on the river. I wish LR would get more developments like this. I love it. Its a smaller complex, that's affordable. I'm 4 blocks away from where I work, downtown is in walking distance and Riverdale in biking distance. I think that area, (downtown, west of Broadway, around the trainstation) is ripe for development of a dense, mixed-use neighborhood. There's a little going on now

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