Real estate trends in the office and retail markets are recovering

Real estate in the central Arkansas retail and office market could rebound in the coming months after struggling for almost two years with the pandemic.

Employees left office desks in the spring of 2020, and the retail sector was plagued by shutdowns and cautious shoppers who prefer to buy goods and clothing online. Both real estate sectors were devastated as the pandemic dragged on, the office market remains uncertain, and working from home is a popular option now favored by many employers.

Second-quarter real estate activity in central Arkansas “has seen more office and retail transactions than in previous quarters, signaling a potential recovery,” Colliers of Arkansas said in Market Trends. quarterly analysis.

The Little Rock office market is showing some interesting trends amid the first wave of post-Covid lease renewals. Some businesses are maintaining hybrid work environments, while small businesses are expanding into more spaces.

The sale of two buildings in Westlake Corporate Park, located between Canis and Bowman streets and Interstate 430, as well as the sale of downtown skyscrapers Bank of America Tower and Regions Center, has resulted in quarterly office ownership. recovered to Both are located on Capitol Avenue.

Colliers reports, “The retail industry (especially restaurants) is going strong and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.” As evidence, the report points to the sale of the Riverdale Center on Cantrell Road and Breckenridge Village on Rodney Parham Road. Both he is a May deal. An Arkansas investor has purchased a shopping center and plans to invest heavily to revitalize the facility, which was developed in the 1980s.

“Redevelopments like this show renewed interest in retail and should help boost vacancy rates in both shopping centers,” Colliers said.

Another shopping center from the same era, Pavilion in the Park, was sold last week to longtime commercial real estate developer John Frake.

Both office and retail vacancy rates rose in the quarter, although Colliers indicate the trend points to further growth. Retail rose one point from 13.2% in the first quarter to 14.2% last quarter. Office vacancy rose slightly, rising from 14.1% in the first three months of the year to 14.3% last quarter.

After several quarters of strong performance, the industrial real estate sector remains the highlight of the market. Colliers notes that all of the most significant leases finalized in the second quarter were in the industrial sector.

“Industrial spaces continue to fill and are now harder to find,” the report said. “As a result, there are some speculative buildings moving, most of these in the East Little Rock and North Little Rock submarkets.”

SME support

The Arkansas Small Business Technology and Development Center is hosting in-person and virtual events throughout August to support and promote small business development throughout Arkansas.

The in-person event kicks off Tuesday in Arkadelphia with sessions for small businesses to meet with the region’s leading lenders. A workshop on small business lending will be held Wednesday in Russellville, and a marketing tips session will be held Thursday at Piggott. Additional sessions focused on services available to small businesses will be held later this month in Jonesboro, Fort Smith, Russellville and the Ozarks.

The virtual event also kicks off Tuesday with sessions on how businesses can use Google Search and Maps to build awareness. Other sessions provide tips and information on obtaining research grants, starting a business, and the key building blocks of a successful business.

A calendar of events is available at

startup weekend

The Little Rock Venture Center and Fayetteville’s Startup Junkie have partnered to host Startup Weekend starting August 26th. The session will offer his 54 hours of training and tools to help entrepreneurs learn how to work and build a startup business.

The weekend shows entrepreneurs how to do more, faster with creative and collaborative sessions that include mentors, investors, business co-founders and sponsors. Sessions provide tips and insights on topics such as pitching, business model building, and marketing initiatives.

The first weekend is August 26-28 at 1 E. Center St., Fayetteville, starting at 6:30 PM on Friday and ending at 9:00 PM on Sunday. A similar session will be held November 11-13 at 417 Main Street in Little Rock for entrepreneurs in Central Arkansas.

For more information, visit or

Supporting women’s businesses

Ten black women-owned businesses have been selected to participate in the Arkansas Women’s Foundation’s upcoming Economic Mobility Hub cohort. This her third cohort will increase foundation grants to her $150,000 dedicated to Black woman-owned businesses since the program launched in her 2020.

The Hub is a statewide initiative to support black entrepreneurs statewide through a six-month program that provides support services, training, and resources, including a $5,000 unlimited grant.

Kara Wilkins, who coordinates the Hub’s activities, said: “With the launch of the third cohort, the WFA will provide resources and technical assistance to women business owners to promote economic mobility and reduce wealth inequality. We will continue our commitment to provide

Participants in the third hub are: Melanie’s Battle with Scholars for the Soul: Bryant’s Educational Solutions Company. Akissi Brooks of Ambitious Girls Inc. of Sherwood. Janet Cross of JValenciaACTS and Whitney Dobbins of Girly Girls Mobile Spa and More (both in North Little Rock). Tasha’s girlfriend LaTasha Moore teaches Spanish, Quinyatta Mumford her Mumford and Associates, and Sweet Stuffed’s Brittany Roy and her CROWN Salon Studio’s Whitney Spencer all teach in Little Rock. Ascia Shelton of Ari’s Glow Candle Co. in Brinkley.

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