James Barnes, who with partner Brandon Huffman bought the Brandon House property at 12th and University and a parcel behind it on 12th Street in July, confirmed today that the property will be torn down.
The parcel had been suggested as a location, along with the Sears property on University, for the Little Rock Technology Park by park consultant Charles Dilks. Barnes had told the Park Authority board of directors that the company would work with them if they were interested in locating there.
Barnes initially said he would use part of the space in the building for textbook warehousing, but the partnership, BH University Development LLC, now plans to develop the property for commercial or mixed use, depending on interest. A few parcels are already under negotiation, Barnes said, and the company has been approached by "national tenants." "We're trying to find the optimum use" for the property, Barnes said; a textbook warehouse would not be.
Barnes said he was still open to offers from the Technology Park. "I was willing to do a number of things. I reached out to them numerous times, being that I want to see them succeed." But, he said, the board is apparently "still figuring things out."
Barnes said he and partners bought the property, 5.9 acres, for $3 million.
UPDATE: The work has begun, as Brian Chilson's photo below illustrates.