For real estate junkies | Arkansas Blog

For real estate junkies

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I think former Sen. George Hopkins is doing a good job trying to clean up the mess at the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, where corruption and old boyism held sway for so many years and hundreds of millions of dollars were at issue.

Among the improvements he's made is refreshing openness about ATRS dealings. For example, he distributed today a report he'll deliver to the board next week on various investments -- encouraged by the legislature -- in Arkansas real estate.

Noted: Jim Lindsey Property Management appears to enjoy a 3.4 percent interest rate, thanks to a deal struck long ago, on $21 million in loans from retired teachers for the ex-Razorback's real estate ventures. (In case the average reader doesn't know, this lending rate is unbelievably low, a giveaway. Developers would kill for it today. ATRS is locked into it by a contract done in the days when who you knew or what you'd done for the ATRS director or Board members lately had a lot to do with investment decisions. You'd like a 3.4 mortgage, wouldn't you?)

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