PS on Donaghey deal | Arkansas Blog

PS on Donaghey deal

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We neglected yesterday to add some information we received after posting the item about City Board movement toward approving a downtown land deal at its meeting Oct. 17.

City Manager Bruce Moore told us that the city is still trying to add some protection for the city in the deal to sell the Metrocentre Improvement District's south parking deck to developer Charles Hendrix, who has an agreement with developer Stephanie Smith to sell her the Donaghey Building and deck as part of her plan to convert the historic early skyscraper to condos and office use.

For example, could the city require a reversion of the deck to public ownership if the condo redevelopment doesn't go forward? This would seem preferabl to putting the deck permanently in the hands of a property owner who, to date, hasn't made much progress in redeveloping the property.

As it stands, the deck would be sold for $2,050,000, a bit more than its appraised value, to Hendrix. The Improvement District would reap all the proceeds. The city would recapture none of its $500,000 investment in the deck for deeding away its share of the property. The Downtown Partnership, which manages the Improvement District, says the deck is critical to the condo redevelopment and that condo project, in turn, is critical to redeveloping downtown. It would generate more property taxes and, in time, more residents and related tax revenue, says Sharon Priest, director of the partnership.

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