Category: Featured

Abby Turner Promoted to Assistant Property Manager

Abby Turner

Last May, Abby Turner interviewed with Kelley Commercial Partners for the position of tenant relations manager, and it didn’t take long for us to figure out that Abby would be a great addition to our team and a perfect fit for the job. Immediately following her graduation from Ouachita Baptist University, the Arkadelphia-native packed up and moved to the big city to start her new job in Arkansas’s tallest building. She would assist tenants of the three floors in Simmons Tower dedicated to executive suites: Level Two Executive Suites, 15th Floor Executive Suites, and the new Capital Center 12th Floor Executive Suites.

When Abby started, we had nearly completed the conversion of 19,100 square feet of office space on the 12th floor to 50 executive suites. One month later, with Abby’s help, we began leasing the Capitol Center 12th Floor Executive Suites, which is now 80 percent occupied.

As the tenant relations manager, Abby welcomed new tenants to executive suites on floors 2, 12, and 15 and made sure they had everything they needed to get right to work, but she didn’t stop there. Abby also helped coordinate the annual Christmas Tree Lighting celebration and established the very popular “Food Truck Tuesday,” which takes place every other Tuesday. She even brought in a trainer and a yoga instructor to teach classes in the gym on the second floor. And on top of all of that, she still finds time to manage Simmons Tower’s social media accounts. (Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.)

In less than a year, Abby was promoted to assistant property manager, and she has just earned her real estate license. She looks forward to planning more events for the Tower and reestablishing a sense of community for the building. She says meeting new tenants is her favorite part of the job, plus she says she really likes her KCP teammates. Really.

Abby, we are so pleased to have you on our team and congratulate you on your achievements so far. We really like having you on our team. Really.

 

The Downtown Connection

Aerial Downtown Little rock Arkansas USA

As published in Arkansas Business, March 14, 2021
by Hank Kelley

 
At Kelley Commercial Partners, we focus a lot on downtown properties because it’s been home to our company for so long. When we tour the market with out-of-town clients, we proudly tell the stories of our landmarks and the amenities that define us.

James and Deborah Fallows, the authors of “Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America,” helped shape my view of Little Rock and central Arkansas. The couple traveled the country for five years focusing on thriving flyover communities and outlining attributes common to each of these progressive cities. After they published their book, they visited Little Rock to discuss their findings. They believe communities that have positioned themselves to thrive possess these traits:

  • People work together on practical local possibilities, rather than allowing disagreements about national politics to keep them apart.
  • Citizens can name local patriots.
  • The phrase “public-private partnership” refers to something real.
  • People know their civic story.
  • They have downtowns.
  • They are near a research university.
  • They have and care about a community college.
  • They have distinctive, innovative K-12 schools.
  • They embrace diversity.
  • They have big plans. Municipal governments are where real improvements can be done.
  • They have brewpubs and/or distilleries where the product is made and served in a setting that encourages people getting together.

This is a good list of priorities worthy of focus, commitment and action to help Little Rock become its best. But of those priorities, the Fallowses believe a downtown is the best single marker of the condition of the town. Downtown Little Rock has changed for the better since we first moved into the Simmons Tower 38 years ago, thanks to the combined efforts of city leaders and the private sector championing progress. Today, downtown is home to the arts, history, retail, housing and entertainment. From historic Robinson Center to the $142 million Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, from boutiques to farmers markets, from historic homes to high-rise condos, there’s something for everyone. The past decade has added marinas to both sides of the Arkansas River, along with hundreds of apartments and homes for those who want to live in an urban environment.

Speaking of North Little Rock, Argenta plays a huge role in our downtown. Dickey-Stephens Park, Simmons Bank Arena and the restaurants that line Main Street provide countless entertainment opportunities. With two cities across one river, we punch well above our weight in concerts, performing arts and local dining options. While the Arkansas River may seem to be a dividing line, the cycling, walking and running along the Arkansas River Trail connect us.

With 33% of the local total commercial real estate inventory (12.7 million SF), downtown is the largest submarket in the metropolitan area and offers the greatest value. In fact, businesses, offices and residents have never had a more exciting and diverse menu of amenities downtown — benefits that can’t be replicated in suburban areas. Downtown boasts the lowest average cost per square foot in the area and can satisfy the needs of users large or small. And the Interstate 30 rehabilitation will provide the best regional access to downtown for occupants and visitors.

Whether it’s a national grocery store, restaurant chain, fashion retailer, office user or manufacturer, all our prospective commercial real estate clients want to know what’s happening downtown, which is why we must think of downtown when making key decisions about infrastructure, business expansions, education initiatives and other items on the Fallowses’ list.

These prospects know that American downtowns serve as benchmarks as to where a community is headed. We need visitors to clearly see new developments happening on both sides of the Arkansas River, making this place a great place to live, work and play.

So I challenge you to reread the Fallowses’ observations. Where does Little Rock stack up? Where are we going? What do you want to see next? If you want to listen to the music I hear, call me. Let’s meet and walk to lunch! In downtown of course.

Kelley Kolettis Designs opens at The Shoppes at Rodney Parham

Kelley Kolettis Designs

Over the last 13 years Kelley Kolettis has progressed from art student, to experienced designer, to successful entrepreneur with her very own design firm, Kelley Kolettis Designs. The Shoppes at Rodney Parham became KKD’s newest home base in February 2022. “We were so pleased to work with such a talented member of the business community and help her find the perfect space for her firm,” said Cheryl White, senior property manager.

Kelley has a wide range of experience working in several different areas of the design world from furniture design, kitchen and bath renovations, commercial office layouts, and event planning, but her current focus and specialization is now on residential design and small commercial projects. Her busiest months are November and December when she is busy decorating homes and businesses around central Arkansas for the holidays.

Shoppes at Rodney Parham

Kelley Kolletis Designs, 10020 N. Rodney Parham, Suite 6, Little Rock. Illustration by Ellen Yahl

Kelley is available by appointment to meet with you at the studio located in Suite 6 of the Shoppes where her unique and sophisticated style are on full display. If you can’t get to her studio, Kelly offers virtual consultations as well. She is eager to share what she’s learned over her many years of experience and is always willing to answer questions or recommend one of her trusted tradesmen to help you get the job done. Her design studio also features a gallery of works by local artists’ if you’re looking for some color to add to your walls.

“We know that Kelley has many years of success in her future, and we wish her all the best on her journey,” said Brooke Miller, agent and partner.

If you’re looking for space for your business to call home, browse our properties or contact one of our trusted agents at 501.375.3200.

Kelley Commercial Partners Adds New Shareholder Partner

Kaley Tucker, Property Manager, Partner

Kelley Commercial Partners is pleased to announce the appointment of our newest shareholder partner, Kaley Tucker. She will be joining existing partners Hank Kelley, Daryl Peeples, Maggie Hogan, Nick Kelley, Brooke Miller, Jessi Miller, Kevin Pledger, Gary Smith, Eric Varner, and Cheryl White.

“I knew Kaley was coming to the firm with a solid education and strong work ethic, but she has exceeded every expectation. Her professionalism makes her a joy to work with for team members, clients, and customers. I am excited to see what the future holds for Kaley at Kelley Commercial Partners and honored to be her partner,” said Daryl Peeples, president.

Tucker began her career at the firm nearly 7 years ago, just weeks after graduating from Ouachita Baptist University. She started as an assistant property manager and was promoted to a manager role in 2019. Tucker manages some of Little Rock’s largest Class A properties, including Simmons Tower, and several high-rise Property Owner’s Associations. She coordinates overall management, leasing activities, construction management, and financial oversight for more than 1.3 million square feet of property across central Arkansas.

“I had never considered a career in real estate and was certain I was headed down the CPA path after graduation, but I have grown to love what I do and the people I get to work with every day,” said Tucker.

In October 2021, Tucker completed her RPA® (Real Property Administrator) designation through BOMI. Only property managers with a minimum of three years of experience are eligible for the program. Tucker completed the coursework in less than two years and says she gained a more in-depth knowledge of every aspect of managing a commercial property successfully.

Tucker attributes her success in the company to the close-knit team. “I truly could not do what I do each day without my associates, Alex [Graham] and Abby [Turner], and the mentorship I have in Eric [Varner], Maggie [Hogan], Hank [Kelley] and Daryl [Peeples] as well as the support from my husband, Curt. Any property manager will tell you that not every day is sunshine and rainbows. There are some really hard days, but those are the days that I learn the most,” said Tucker.

Tucker is a member of BOMA GLR and is involved in her church, Immanuel Baptist Church. She and her husband have a feisty little red-headed toddler named Tessa.

Predictions about commercial real estate in Little Rock circa 2050

In this month’s issue of the Arkansas Times, Hank Kelley shared his thoughts about what the commercial real estate industry will look like in 2050. 

Hank Kelley, CEO

Hank Kelley, CEO

Connectivity

There is demand now — and will be in the future — for unique living and workspaces in multiple-story buildings so your space can be close to other residents and professionals, and to other recreational and educational uses. The way we “go to work” now will change over the next 30 years, and the need to have the same level of hard-wall separate office areas within a building will change. More emphasis will be placed on a building’s connectivity for virtual connections than exists today. Even today, mobile professionals regularly chart their destinations based on the connection to credible Wi-Fi. In 30 years, the need for high-quality connections will be a constant and core requirement.

The exterior of buildings will hopefully be a source of energy generation through advances in solar panel technology, but not at the expense of views within the spaces. More filtering will improve indoor air quality. Rooftop decks and balconies with sunscreen canopies will be the norm as people continue to want to be outdoors but become even more concerned about sun exposure.

Mixed-Use

I believe we will continue to see an evolution of larger office buildings to include a mixture in their uses. The cost of converting their use, though, will have to be feasible before developers will invest in the remodeling needed for conversion. The conversion of office buildings to residential and or hospitality (hotel) requires extensive plumbing and mechanical alterations, and those changes will only happen when adequate demand for those uses justifies the conversion cost. In the short run, we will see workspaces within the buildings compressed to more flexible work environments and, in some cases, with even more open floor spaces for cubicle and tabletop workspaces. Landlords will become more flexible on tenant expansion and contraction needs to retain their tenants and use the surplus space they have to attract growing businesses.

The office buildings and existing residential condo buildings in Little Rock’s Central Business District represent the highest density of population per mile in our city and region, and companies will continue to be attracted by the excellent accessibility to both I-30 and I-40. People who live in midrise and high-rise buildings in the Central Business District enjoy walkable amenities now — the Central Arkansas Library, the Robinson Center, the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts — and we believe the demand for walkable amenities will grow over time.

“’Hoteling’ of office space and rotation of in-office and out-of-office workdays will become more of a norm.”

As regards trends toward remote working, we don’t believe the majority of companies will choose a completely remote workforce because of the challenges in maintaining the culture needed to compete. “Hoteling” of office space and rotation of in-office and out-of-office workdays will become more of a norm. We continue to believe there is value in the separation of workspace and living space. The networking component of “going to work” is now and will continue to be a valuable need for workers and companies.

Energy Efficiency

We will see great advances in products and technology to conserve and generate energy, water and land at both the individual user level, but also at the utility provider level. We are hopeful those advances will reduce operating costs and help preserve our natural resources. The office building industry has been active in conservation efforts through the LEED certification process. Maintaining buildings to operate at peak efficiency will become a requirement to own and operate a building, and utility providers will charge non-compliant building owners penalties for excessive consumption.

We expect that fewer people will own their own cars, meaning we will see less of a need for parking spaces.

Finally, inflation will increase interest rates on the debt and the cost of services to maintain existing buildings. Some building owners are not prepared for their debt and operating expenses to increase, as they have been trying to maintain current rent levels with tenants. This means less income is available to pay debt and reinvest in building upgrades needed to maintain an efficient and attractive building. The squeeze of increasing costs will challenge some building owners and cause a change in ownership if those owners don’t have adequate reserves. Tenants will seek out buildings with owners who have the financial resources and desire to reinvest in their properties.

Hank Kelley is CEO and Executive Broker at Kelley Commercial Partners, and has been working in brokerage and property management in Little Rock for 36 years.