First Orion to build headquarters in North Little Rock | Arkansas Blog

First Orion to build headquarters in North Little Rock

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First Orion, a company that developed software to block unwanted phone calls, is going to build a headquarters building on Main Street in North Little Rock.

The company, currently in the River Market district in Little Rock, is led by Charles Morgan, the former Acxiom CEO. North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith had said last week that the announcement of a new multi-story building for headquarters of a high-tech company this morning would provide an "anchor" for the adjacent Argenta Plaza development he's long planned in the 500 block of Main. The City Council is to consider a $4 million expenditure for that project tonight.

First Orion markets PrivacyStar for phone and web users to screen unwanted calls and report them to regulators.

A news release from the company said it would build a 60,000-square-foot building, big enough for a 200-person workforce (double current employment). The company also has offices in Seattle, Dallas and London.

From the release:

"Central Arkansas is an inspiring place for us to be," said Charles D. Morgan, CEO of First Orion. "We are helping to transform the region into a prominent technology hub and we are honored to be such a big part of the Argenta Plaza. Not only is First Orion building technology, but we are also building careers."

"As Governor, it's exciting to see key tech players expanding throughout Arkansas," said Asa Hutchinson, Governor of Arkansas. "It is truly the best environment for technology businesses to grow and for aspiring professionals to learn necessary skills to compete in this tech-driven economy. Through my computer science initiative, Arkansas continues to grow a young talent base of future programmers, data scientists, computer engineers and endless possibilities. I expect First Orion will become even more involved in our state's emerging tech community in the future."

"The spirit of innovation is alive in North Little Rock and First Orion embodies our technological drive and ingenuity," said Joe Smith, Mayor of North Little Rock. "We believe the Argenta Plaza will be a community where big, brave ideas are given the chance to grow unfettered. First Orion is a shining example of our state's best and brightest creating technologies that make the world a better place."

First Orion said it is recruiting more employees.

UPDATE: City spokesman Nathan Hamilton tells me it is selling city land to First Orion at its cost. The city, which has been studying downtown parking, also will build a parking lot east of the headquarters. The company will lease lots during the day and they'll be available for city use at night. In the first years, the city economic development commission will cover the lease cost of First Orion spaces, about $30,000 a year.

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