This property is a game-changing addition to Conway’s commercial real estate landscape. This ±150,000 SF LEED-Certified Building is “some of the most compelling commercial space in central Arkansas,” and it’s already generating a lot of buzz. Read more at the link below.
The Renowned Vivaldi Music Academy is opening in Little Rock – celebrating 10 years and seven locations.
Kelley Commercial Partners is proud to announce the imminent arrival of the largest music school in the United States, Vivaldi Music Academy, to the Bowman Curve Shopping Center in Little Rock, Ark. Vivaldi Music Academy, a renowned music school that offers personalized music education for children and adults, will open its newest school later this fall.
This is a big win not only for music enthusiasts but also significant for the Bowman Curve Shopping Center and the surrounding businesses. The retail center is already a hub of activity in the area, with a range of shops, restaurants, and services. The addition of Vivaldi Music Academy to the mix adds a new dimension to the center, attracting new, affluent customers and creating more foot traffic. As students attend their music lessons, their parents and guardians may spend time in the shopping center, shopping, dining, or running errands.
Founded in 2013, Vivaldi Music Academy has quickly become recognized as the fast growing music schools in the country, with five locations in Houston, Tex., and San Antonio, Tex.,. The academy offers private and group music lessons in a range of instruments, including piano, guitar, violin, cello, drums, and voice, among others. The school prides itself on its personalized approach to music education, tailoring lessons to the individual needs and goals of each student.
Kelley Commercial Partners is thrilled to have been a part of the team that brought this new tenant to Bowman Curve Shopping Center. We are committed to supporting and fostering growth in Central Arkansas, and the arrival of Vivaldi Music Academy is an excellent step towards that goal. We look forward to seeing the positive impact the academy will make in the community and are excited to see what the future holds for Bowman Curve.
Things are perking up in the lobby of Simmons Tower. Italian Coffee Corner opened in early November, and it is quickly becoming a regular stop for a morning boost, lunch, or an afternoon pick-me-up.
Owners, Bruno Muskaj and wife, Yuliia Kornytska had just opened Coffee Corner in Maumelle when they learned about lobby space available in Simmons Tower. Brooke Miller and Brandon Sheard of Kelley Commercial Partners met with the couple and showed them the space in the southeast corner of the lobby. The couple decided to go for it and open a second location. They placed their order for another Italian-made Lavazza espresso machine and waited three months for its arrival. The Lavazza finally arrived, and she is a beauty! With Bruno in charge and using Lavazza’s 100 percent Arabica beans, the results are smooth, rich, and oh, so gratifying.
Yuliia and Bruno met while working on a cruise ship and dreamed of opening a coffee shop of their own. They were about to open one in Saranda, Albania when Covid hit and a friend asked them for help in his restaurant in Arkansas. Arkansas? Bruno grew up in Albania and never thought he could live away from the sea, but when he saw Arkansas, he loved it. “It’s beautiful here. Lots of trees. Plenty of water,” Bruno said.
Bruno’s love for coffee began at a very early age when his Italian grandmother showed him how to make espresso. His favorite drink is the ristretto, which is a concentrated, short espresso shot. Yuliia’s Ukrainian roots influence the pastries they serve — buttery, flakey, and delicious.
Now with two shops, Yuliia manages the very busy Maumelle location while Bruno manages the downtown shop. Bruno prefers being in the center of the city with lots of activity. Their menus differ slightly but both offer plenty of options ranging from the crowd-favorite chocolate danishes to savory sandwiches served on their freshly baked, buttery croissants.
So, next time you’re downtown and need a little something to get you going, visit the Italian Coffee Corner in Simmons Tower. They’re open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.* Coffee Corner in Maumelle is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon.
* Hint: If you don’t happen to work in or near Simmons Tower, the southeast entrance nearest the intersection of 6th and Spring Streets will lead you directly to Italian Coffee Corner. Metered parking is almost always available on 6th St.
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.
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.