This afternoon the Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission
resolved to move forward with plans to acquire land at the corner of Scott and Markham in order to build a parking deck. The space, which is currently a surface lot, was recently bought by CSK Hotels
in Fort Smith for $950,000. CSK made the purchase and proposed to build a hotel despite its awareness of the city's desire to develop the property in a different fashion. The city has long wanted a parking deck there to service the Statehouse Convention Center
The A and P Commission's resolution moves the field of action to the City Board
, which will have to determine how to go about acquiring the property. There are three ways for it to do so: First, it can negotiate an outright purchase of the land with CSK, though the company has thus far shown no interest in bargaining. Second, it can condemn the property, which would require the city to pay CSK a fair market value that would likely be determined in court. The third and most complicated scenario is for the city to exercise an option it holds to purchase the land for $200,000. Though that price is obviously below the current market value, the option requires the city to perform other costly construction: It would have to build a sky bridge from the parking deck at Second and Main to Block 2 Lofts, and it would have to lease 175 spots in that deck to Block 2. In addition to the extra cost, those option terms could encumber future plans to develop the block on which the Second and Main parking deck sits.
There's no timetable for the City Board to act on the resolution. The board is scheduled to meet next on July 1. No word at the moment as to whether the matter will be on the agenda.
For more, see our previous blurb
and this much more detailed story
from Arkansas Business.