LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Downtown Little Rock’s skyline is for sale. Right now, five prominent office buildings — including two of city’s tallest — are on the block, in what real estate professionals are calling a tower-buyer’s market.
As Lance Turner of Arkansas Business reports, the turnover in ownership is giving these properties a chance to re-imagine the possibilities for tenants.
At the top of the for-sale list is the 24-story Bank of America Plaza.
The 50-year-old office tower has a 56 percent vacancy rate, and the sale would include its seven-story parking garage.
The owner of the building is a group called West Capitol LLC, led by Edward Corbell of Los Angeles. It acquired the building for $10.2 million in 2006.
But West Capitol isn’t publicizing a sale price — instead, it’s handling the deal like an auction.
William Callahan, principal broker at CBRE Group, which is handling the sale, said he’s received a half-dozen or so bids on the 315-thousand-square-foot tower.
He said that if the sales effort proceeds as hoped, a deal should be closed by summer and the property could look a lot different after changing hands.
The owners are marketing Bank of America Plaza as a property ripe for a number of uses — including for hotels, apartments, condominiums and restaurants.
Two other properties are up for a conventional sale — the 12-story Boyle Building for $6 million, and the 14-story Donaghey Building for $8 million.
Both buildings along Main Street had been eyed for redevelopment.
The current owners of the Boyle Building had hoped to transform it into an Aloft Hotel — complete with a rooftop swimming pool.
The owners of the 93-year-old Donaghey Building had hoped to revamp the aging property into an apartment building with office and retail space on the first floor.
But those plans fell through.
Over on Capitol Avenue, the 74-thousand-square-foot Two Union Plaza is up for grabs for $5.5 million.
The sale comes ahead of a major turnover in its roster of state government tenants over the next 12 months.
Originally known as the Atkins Building when it first opened in 1983, it last sold for $3.1 million in 2006.
Finally — a major piece of real estate, the 30-story Regions Center — is technically not on the block yet, but not for lack of trying.
That building is at the center of bankruptcy proceedings by its ownership group, which claims it could have sold the building for $46.5 million had its management company seriously considered the offer.
While the Chapter 11 process continues, occupancy in the building has grown, closing in on 90 percent.
Real estate professionals tell Arkansas Business that while office space isn’t hard to find, developers downtown are looking for possibilities beyond just the 9-to-5 crowd.
John Martin — vice president of commercial brokerage at Newmark Moses Tucker Partners — says there’s an appetite for mixing uses along Main Street and Capitol Avenue — that includes residential, retail and office all in one spot, right in the middle of the action.
So don’t be surprised if you one day find your old ground-floor bank lobby now the city’s hottest retail and restaurant space.