Friday, May 19, 2017
An architect and developer has purchased about 40 acres near the Arkansas River in North Little Rock with plans to build a mixed-use development.
Arkopolis Properties LLC of Maumelle paid $1.75 million to Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel for the property east of Paul Duke Drive along River Road.
Blake Jackson, a managing partner of Monde Group in Maumelle and an officer with Arkopolis, plans to build a resort community on the property, but is at least 18 months away from breaking ground on the project.
"We haven't put a pencil to paper yet on the design, density or the mixture of housing and retail," Jackson said. "But we've kind of followed the momentum to the east with the entertainment district and Rockwater Village and the beautiful Emerald Park and Burns Park to the west."
The 40 acres Arkopolis acquired is in the middle of those developments, Jackson said.
"We saw an opportunity to build a new community there and extend the vision of what the other developers around us have started," Jackson said.
He said he is unsure exactly what will be built on the newly acquired land but that he is getting a market study done to help determine what will be built. The development will be called Arkopolis.
"Housing will definitely be a component of it, but whether that's apartments or single family or condos, we don't know," Jackson said. "In addition to housing, we'd like to have services like restaurants and light retail. But we haven't even started the master plan. But we're going to wait and see what the report shows."
Design of the project could begin in about six months, Jackson said.
Jackson, 34, graduated with an architecture degree from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville following the example of his father, James Jackson, who is retired from a career at Cromwell Architects Engineers Inc. of Little Rock. Jackson, his father and two brothers make up Monde Group, a development company.
Jackson developed The Villa at River Pointe Drive, a $30 million, 216-unit upscale apartment complex in Maumelle.
The Mediterranean-style complex has one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with rents ranging from $779 to $1,099 a month. The Villa is nearly 100 percent occupied.
To get approval for the Villa apartments, Jackson told the Maumelle City Council about his plans, said Eric Holloway, the owner of Holloway Engineering, Surveying & Civil Design in Maumelle.
Jackson had story boards showing how attractive the apartments would be and the council members may have wondered if he was making it all up, Holloway said.
"It's an arduous process to get rezoned to multifamily in Maumelle," Jackson said. "He was able to pull it off, but it took a little time. He's one of the few guys who came in and promised the world and actually delivered on his promise."
The Villa is "a true Class A property," said Ted Bailey, an owner of The Multifamily Group in Little Rock, which follows the Pulaski County apartment market.
"It's a beautiful project and a wonderful location on the river," Bailey said. "[Jackson] does a great job."
Jackson will begin work next month on the next phase of The Villa, an amenities facility with a lap pool, a hot tub, a croquet court, volleyball, a fire pit and a pavilion.
"Once that gets going, we're going to go full steam on our North Little Rock project," Jackson said.
Business on 05/19/2017
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