Tech Park Moving From Concept to Physical Reality

The planned Little Rock Technology Park has existed mostly in theory since voters passed a half-cent sales tax back in 2011 to provide $22 million for its development.

Having recently cleared its last property acquisition hurdle for phase one of the $100 million project, the Little Rock Technology Park Authority board now has full architect renderings in hand. Phase one will entail 86,000 SF encompassing 415-421 Main St., and it’s expected to be complete by late 2016 or early 2017. Work is expected to begin early next year.

Wittenberg Delony & Davidson of Little Rock is the architect and is working with Gaudreau Inc. of Baltimore; East Harding of Little Rock is the contractor. The 38,000 SF that makes up 415 and 417 Main will anchor the project and house technology-focused companies, startups and entrepreneurs in a combination of co-working, semi-private and private offices.

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education occupies 48,000 SF at 421 Main and will continue to lease the space, providing the park with operating cash flow. The lease is $755,448.40 per year with an additional $3,995 per month for 85 parking spaces on Main.

Tech Park Director Brent Birch calls that a huge factor in the park’s launch. The total project, for which there is no definitive timetable, entails more than 600,000 SF spread over five phases.

For now, the Tech Park board is focused squarely on getting phase one off the ground, almost five years after Little Rock voters approved a tax increase to fund development through 2021. And it’s been eight years since enabling legislation was passed in the Arkansas General Assembly creating the board authority. The idea for a tech park was first floated by city leaders in 2005.

Read entire article in Arkansas Business

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