Tag: Kelley Commercial Partners

Hot Springs Bypass Extension Project Ahead of Schedule

Kelley Commercial Partners has two development opportunities that should be positively impacted by the bypass.

The Hot Springs Bypass Extension project resulted after a study by the Arkansas Highway Commission determined that improving or expanding Highway 7 through downtown Hot Springs was not an option. Currently, scenic Highway 7 travels directly through Hot Springs National Park, which makes up 5,550 acres and has 8 historic bathhouses, hiking trails, campgrounds, a visitors’ center, and much more. This alternative bypass would reduce traffic congestion through the downtown area and cut travel time between Hot Springs Village and the city of Hot Springs by more than half.

Funded by Connecting Arkansas Program and a Garland County Bond Issue

This $75 million project is funded in part by the Connecting Arkansas Program and a Garland County bond issue which was approved by voters in 2016. The 5.82 miles path connects the intersection of Highways 5 and 7 on the north end, to exit 6 on Highway 70 East on the south end. Overpasses will be located at Covenant Trail Rd., Mill Creek Rd., Denise Ln., and Quarry Mountain Rd. The north end of the extension will tie into a two-lane roundabout large enough to accommodate a tractor trailer. The roundabout project, scheduled to be completed in late 2023, will also widen 4.17 miles of Park Ave.

Roundabout at Hwys 5 & 7

Roundabout at Hwys 5 & 7

Bypass Officially Designated a Scenic Highway

The bypass meanders through the beautiful Ouachita Mountains and has been officially designated a scenic highway in 2021 by Act 675 from the Arkansas Legislature. It will facilitate access to retail and services in the city of Hot Springs for residents of Hot Springs Village, Jessieville, Fountain Lake, and surrounding areas, all while leaving the tourists and pedestrians in the historic downtown with a better and safer experience with less traffic congestion. Currently, Highway 128 provides a quick route to retail centers and other services in Saline County. Officials believe that this bypass project might help keep that spending, and the  tax dollars and jobs that come with it, in Garland County. Originally scheduled for completion by August 2022, the project is currently ahead of schedule and could open for the summer season of 2022.

Development Opportunities in Hot Springs

Kelley Commercial Partners has a unique redevelopment opportunity available just northeast of the roundabout. A ±2.24 acres lot with two buildings is offered for sale. The property has 411 feet of frontage on Highway 5/Park Ave. and is ideally suited for a convenience store or similar development. An additional ±9.16 acres of level land with 340 feet frontage are for sale on Highway 7 in Hot Springs Village across from Walmart Supercentre. For more information about these listings, visit our properties page.

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.

Opportunity Zones: The Basics

What are opportunity zones?

Opportunity zones were created by congress as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to spur economic growth in economically distressed communities. In April of 2018, Gov. Asa Hutchinson proposed 85 tracts around the state be designated as official Opportunity Zones in Arkansas. By December of that year, the US Department of the Treasury confirmed this proposal and all 85 tracts were designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones (QOZs). There are more than 8,700 designated zones nationwide that provide tax incentives for private investment in low-income communities. Opportunity Zone properties around the state vary greatly. They include urban/downtown, industrial, suburban, and rural areas—but each QOZ shares the same need of a spur in economic growth and job creation. Click here to view an interactive map of opportunity zones in Arkansas.

How do they work?

Investors who wish to take advantage of this program have 180 days to reinvest any prior eligible capital gains into a Qualified Opportunity Fund (QOF) and by doing so, they receive several tax incentives on those gains. The QOF is created to invest in an opportunity zone property with at least 90 percent of its assets dedicated to the QOZ. By reinvesting all or a portion of their gains into a QOF, the investor’s capital gains tax may be deferred until the sale of the QOZ investment or until December 31, 2026, whichever comes first. If the QOZ is held for five years, the investor will benefit from a 10% exclusion of the deferred gain; holding it for seven years will increase the exclusion to 15%. Investors who hold the QOZ for at least 10 years will eliminate paying a capital gains tax on appreciation of the QOZ property.

Who benefits?

Investors benefit from the preferential tax treatment while communities benefit from property improvements, job creation, and new businesses. Small businesses operating in the opportunity zone may also benefit with an equity investment from a QOF. There are requirements that must be met to qualify as an Opportunity Zone Business (QOZB), which are outlined in detail in the New Proposed Regulations.

The Opportunity Zones program is a unique and effective economic development tool and an important part of making our communities and neighborhoods stronger, safer, and more economically healthy. As Opportunity Zones grow and prosper, the communities around them reap the benefits, which in turn, benefits everyone.

Learn more:

IRS: Opportunity Zones

Arkansas Economic Opportunity Zones

The information provided here in is not to be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice.

 

Start-Up Story: By Design

Cassy Harrelson

If you work in or around Simmons Tower, chances are good you’ve seen the small salon, By Design, in the southeast corner of the lobby. Cassy Harrelson has owned and operated the salon since 2009, but she’s been a part of the business for much longer than that. In 1995 she became a part-owner but sold her half of the business when she moved to California in 2000. Lucky for us, she moved back to Arkansas in 2009, bought the business outright, and has been running the popular downtown salon ever since.

Cassy is a certified nail technician with decades of experience, but when she began her journey, she might not have predicted just where she would end up. Her whole career started when she decided that she wanted to try to learn how to do her own nails. She really liked this new hobby and seemed to have a knack for it, so she began doing manicures for friends and family out of her own home. When she realized that she could actually go to nail school and get officially licensed, it just seemed like the most natural choice. So that’s just what she did, but she didn’t start working in a salon right away. Cassy was a stay at home mom for many years and was able to run her nail business out of her home. She had never even worked in a salon until she started at By Design in 1995 and just look at her now!

Cassy loves working downtown. The heavy foot traffic around the building keeps things interesting and helps her stay connected with her customers. Plus, most stylists have to work on Saturdays, but not Cassy. Because the building closes on the weekends, she doesn’t have to keep regular salon hours and she’s grateful for the freedom that brings.

By Design is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., though they are flexible to accommodate customers. Services provided include haircuts and coloring, extensions, styling, waxing, and of course, manicures and pedicures! Walk-ins are almost always welcome, but appointments are encouraged. So next time you need to spruce up a bit for that business meeting or dinner right after work, Cassy and her team at By Design have you covered.

Hank Kelley, guest lecturer at UALR College of Business

Hank Kelley, Jr.

On Monday evening, Hank Kelley was invited by instructor Elizabeth Small to lecture her UALR College of Business Finance 4371 class. This senior-level class teaches elements of mortgage financing for housing and investment property; sources of funds; application and approval; real estate investment analysis; effects of financing and income taxation upon investment returns and is part of the college’s real estate program.

Kelley discussed the types of mapping and demographic information Flake & Kelley provides clients. National retailers rely heavily on location, traffic counts, other retailers, and competition, as well as demographics before deciding on a site. He also covered current trends in the commercial real estate market. He noted the increased interest from investors in multi-family properties. An investment group out of Cinncinati recently purchased the 84-unit Barrister Court apartments. Retailers, on the other hand, are figuring out how to do more with less. Kelley commented that Little Rock’s newest national retailer, Trader Joe’s, prefers keeping shelves stocked rather than leasing more space for storing goods. The Little Rock Port was recently in the news because the Michigan-based company, HMS Manufacturing, chose a 550,000 SF industrial space in the port to open its fourth manufacturing facility.

On the subject of investing in real estate, Kelley shared advice his father, who was also in the real estate business, shared with him, “Every piece of property you own owns a piece of you.”

Hank’s executive assistant and current student at the College of Business, Tara Mitchell, was invited to sit in on the lecture.

“I was so excited when Professor Small gave me permission to sit in on this class. It’s great to watch Hank share his knowledge with the next generation, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from such a successful person on a daily basis,” said Tara Mitchell.