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Turning dirt.

The Big, the Bad and the Ugly Deals of Real Estate Are Uncovered Again

THE FUNK SURROUNDing 2,100 acres in Maumelle is getting thicker since the Resolution Trust Corp. announced a sale in November.

The RTC was owed more than $10 million and reportedly sold the acreage for $2.7 million -- angering prospective bidders and taxpayers alike.

The crew that initiated this fiasco, The Maumelle Co. and John W. "Jay" DeHaven, were found guilty of fraud in connection with promises that Glenn Eskola could buy land and resell it four months later for a profit.

Complaints about DeHaven et al are still surfacing in court and at the Arkansas Real Estate Commission, which has already jerked the licenses of three Maumelle brokers.

The Hilton Inn properties in Little Rock and North Little Rock also went through the courtroom wringer.

The owners of the 221-room Riverfront Hilton Inn were hit with an $11 million judgment in May.

On the backside of that, local businessman Frank Fletcher reached a $6 million settlement with the aid of a federally financed loan to extricate himself from the financial jungle.

A limited partnership led by New Yorker Isaiah Sheps bought the Little Rock Hilton Inn for $3.87 million.

Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States sold the 266-room property in a post-foreclosure takeover in 1988.

Bluebonnet Savings Bank of Dallas recovered 22.7 acres in west Little Rock from Texans Gene and Nancy Carter.

The $490,630 foreclosure wasn't all bad news, though.

The land provided the heart of the new $20 million power center at the southwest corner of Bowman Road and Chenal Parkway.

The 42-acre development will be anchored by a Wal-Mart Supercenter and Sam's Wholesale Club.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. also began work to relocate its Geyer Springs Road store to a new and bigger 121,000-SF location at the southeast corner of Base Line Road and Interstate 30.

The store will anchor a 41.1-acre development owned by North Little Rock's Ashley Co.

Melvin Simon & Associates Inc. of Indianapolis announced a $3 million facelift for McCain Mall, the largest retail center in Arkansas.

The news trailed Simon's successful negotiations for a very favorable restructuring of its 56.64-acre ground lease with Metropolitan Trust Co. of Sherwood.

Speaking of the heirs of the legendary Justin Matthews Sr., the size of $100 million Metropolitan TrustCo. was pared substantially during 1992.

The heirs of Thomas Somers Matthews took their third of the family fortune to form Cypress Properties. It marked the second split of the original Matthews legacy.

John P. Matthews took a quarter of the family holdings in 1955 to form The Matthews Co. (now known as The Crestwood Co./General Properties).

The Crestwood Co. is working through its first year of a post-Chapter 11 reorganization, after overzealous development sent the cash-crunched firm to bankruptcy court.

It wasn't a big surprise when commercial properties, totaling $48.9 million, topped the list of bank-owned real estate categories in Arkansas.

All told, the state had $104.9 million worth of real estate that banks took over. The other four categories are:

* one- to four-family homes, $25.2 million.

* farmland, $15.8 million.

* undeveloped land and building under construction, $9.7 million.

* multifamily apartments, $5.3 million.

The financial woes of Little Rock developer Charles Basham finally pushed him into filing Chapter 7.

The personal liquidation petition trails Basham's decision to sign over all of his commercial real estate interests last year to former partner John Grillo.

The move forestalled charges of fraud and more -- at least temporarily.

The splitting of sheets was much more cordial and less noisy when the overlapping ownership in AMR Real Estate and AMR Architects ended this year.

Jim Moses and Jim Nosari formed Moses-Nosari Real Estate and separated from architects John Allison and Rick Redden, who consolidated their interests in the architectural firm.

Home Away From Home

On the residential front, the sales staff of Prudential McKay Properties grew noticeably when Carolyn Ward and 15 sales agents joined the company after leaving Real Estate Central.

Prudential McKay, with offices in Little Rock and North Little Rock, also bought Riverland Realtors of Maumelle.

Two other Re/Max International franchise holders emerged in Little Rock to join Re/Max Affiliates Realty. Val Hansen converted his existing real estate office, and Charles Keener left Re/Max Affiliates to form his own firm.

Single-family home starts were up 17 percent in 1991, based on a record 6,530 building permits. That statistical observation, courtesy of the Arkansas Home Builders Association, stood in contrast to another number.

The Little Rock-North Little Rock area was dubbed the least affordable area for homes in the South, according to a study by the National Association of Home Builders.

The metro area was ranked 171 out of 191 overall in affordability in an initial report. The affordability ranking was later revised to 125th.

Back in the commercial realm, Stephens Real Estate Inc. became the sole owner of the 432,000-SF Stephens Building after taking over the interests of the Doyle Rogers Co. and Rogers Building Management.

The two Rogers entities held a combined stake of 36 percent. No dollar signs emerged in this 25-story deal amid reports that cash calls squeezed Rogers out of the picture.

This year, the SaversBuilding officially became USAble Center. The new name-sake bought a chunk of the 11-story building in January 1991.

More memorable deals? Here are five big-dollar items to end the year with a bang:

* The Windsor Door Co.'s Little Rock plant changed hands in a $6.4 million sale. United Dominion Industries bought the southwest Little Rock facility from Robertson-Ceco Corp.

* Rogers & Cowley Enterprises Inc. sold Pleasant Hills Retirement in west Little Rock for $5.1 million to PHP Inc., an affiliate of Autumn America of Dallas.

* Baptist Medical System bought the The Cosmetic Facial Surgery Building on its campus for $1.95 million. The 20,000-SF building was owned by Dr. Ellery Gay Jr.

* The Barrett Hamilton facility in southwest Little Rock sold to Little Rock Distributing Co. for $1 million.

* Fausett Plaza was renamed the J.W. Harrison Building, in honor of the new owner, after Bank South of Atlanta sold the 32,637-SF structure for $800,000.
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Title Annotation:The Year 1992 in Review; developments in real estate industry in Arkansas in 1992
Author:Waldon, George
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Industry Overview
Date:Dec 28, 1992
Previous Article:We're on the map.
Next Article:Fighting the numbers: with usury override, New Year holds out hope for small businesses.

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