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Development in the baking.

Development In The Baking

Community Bakery Inc. has plans to breath new life into a pair of gutted buildings that have stood vacant for more than half a decade in downtown Little Rock.

The company bought the two buildings at the southwest corner of 12th and Main for $62,000 and is developing plans for a $450,000 renovation project.

"Our primary intention is to move the bakery there," reveals Joe Fox, president and majority owner of the Little Rock enterprise. "We need more space because we're bursting at the seams."

Fox foresees the move occurring sometime within the next three years when the company's lease expires on its current quarters.

Community Bakery, which employs 31, occupies about 3,500 SF at 1318 S. Main -- its home since 1952. The company also has retail outlets at 270 S. Shackleford and the Sterling Department Store at Capitol and Center.

Phase I of the redevelopment should begin next year and focus on sprucing up the exteriors and installing utility services. Community Bakery's retail operation on Main Street will move to the new locale next year, perhaps in a coffee-dessert house setting.

The initial phase could also involve finish-out costs for up to 3,000 SF of office space. Fox is working on a deal that could bring an unnamed tenant aboard from within the downtown market during the next six to eight months.

He also has thoughts of developing as much as 2,000 SF of retail space for a single user or split between two. Community Bakery's production operations will occupy about 7,000 SF.

The existing floor space of the buildings covers 31,000 SF, but as much as a third of that may be demolished and converted to a parking area.

"After years of driving by, I couldn't resist finally buying it," reports Fox, admitting that the fix-up job almost intimidated him to do otherwise.

The purchase represents a $273,000 write-down for the seller. The Resolution Trust Corp. sold the property on behalf of Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan. The insolvent thrift bought the property for $335,000 in March 1985 from Michael and Kathy McFarland.

Madison Guaranty intended to develop an interior retail center (a downsized version of Main Street Mall) and add a fourth floor penthouse area. That dream was committed to paper, but came no closer to reality.

PHOTO : HOT FROM THE OVEN: Joe Fox of Community Bakery Inc. is cooking up a $450,000 redevelopment in downtown Little Rock. His newly acquired property is located at the southwest corner of 12th and Main. Fox and architect Terry Burruss are drawing up plans for a multiphased project. Bids for phase I should be let by February.
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Title Annotation:RealDeals
Author:Waldon, George
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Dec 3, 1990
Words:450
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