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WLR drives growth in Central Arkansas office space; overall, office occupancy rates stabilize after 1997 downturn.

In the Central Arkansas Metropolitan area alone, there is a total of 10.1 million SF of office space, 87 percent of which is occupied, according to Arkansas Business' most recent survey of office properties in the area.

Of the 261 office properties in central Arkansas, there is more than 1.3 million SF still available at an average lease rate of about $11 per SF.

It's little surprise that the downtown Little Rock office towers are the largest office properties in the state, led by the 740,000-SF TCBY Tower.

According to the survey, the TCBY Tower has 15 percent of its total space available for rent.

The only office complex outside the central Arkansas area large enough to be included on this list of the state's largest office buildings is the 107,000-SF Simmons First National Bank Building in Pine Bluff.

Overall, the occupancy rate in the Greater Little Rock office market rose slightly in 1998 to 87 percent, compared with 86.4 percent in 1997, but most of the growth in office space has been taking place in the west Little Rock area.

The size of the suburban Little Rock market broke the 4 million-SF barrier for the first time last year with the addition of several new office projects, including the 160,653-SF ArkSys Plaza project.

With more than 4.4 million total SF, the suburban Little Rock office market offers nearly as much office space as do the high-rise office buildings in downtown Little Rock.

New Projects

The largest office space nearing completion in central Arkansas is the Pavilion Centre adjacent to Pavilion in the Park on Cantrell Road in Little Rock.

The new $5.4 million, 51,000-SF development should open for business in November and will be managed by a new management firm, Irwin & Saviers Co., which will call the new building home.

The new firm reflects the newfound partnership between real estate executives Jim Irwin and Mark Saviers.

Mark Saviers is returning to commercial real estate after a five-year hiatus. Saviers worked with Trammel Crow Inc. on industrial and office properties in Dallas, New Orleans and Chicago.

Last year, Saviers sold his Computerized Patient Record Services, with offices in Little Rock and Houston, and teamed up with Irwin.

Irwin was a partner in IBR Management Co. of Little Rock. The "I" for Irwin will remain in IBR's name, although he no longer has an ownership position in that firm.

"We're moving more toward the development end, and IBR is moving into the brokerage business," Irwin told Arkansas Business recently.

Irwin's firm has a three-man office in Springdale, where the company manages the West End Plaza Office Park and oversees commercial sales in northwest Arkansas.

Acxiom Corp. has announced two new office buildings in Little Rock, including a new corporate headquarters in the Riverdale area and a $20 million, 100,000-SF office building in west Little Rock near the ArkSys office space.

Bank of the Ozarks recently moved into its new headquarters in a 40,000-SF building at Chenal Parkway and West Markham Street.
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Title Annotation:West Little Rock
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Sep 28, 1998
Words:511
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