Tag: Simmons Tower

Simmons Tower Lobby Perks Up

Italian Coffee Corner

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 Muskaj, co-owner of Italian Coffee Corner

Bruno Muskaj, co-owner of Italian Coffee Corner

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.

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.

 

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.