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Arkansas Capital Commerce Update

When last we checked in with the Arkansas Capital Commerce Center - the Moses Tucker development at the corner of Third and Commerce streets - the town was all abuzz about its glitziest occupants: actors Mary Steenbergen and husband Ted Danson. The duo had purchased one of the luxury loft apartments that are spread across the top two floors of the seven story, 86,500-square-fppt building.

But little has been said about any of Arkansas Capital Commerce's other occupants. (The first floor of the Center will house commercial tenants, while the remaining four levels will be dedicated to office space.) Now two high profile corporate entities have officially added their names to the roster: Arvest Bank and Arkansas Capital Corporation (for whom the building is named).

Arkansas Capital Corporation has chosen to make this location its headquarters.

"We outgrew our current facility," says Sam Walls, executive vice president for Arkansas Capital Corporation. "This new River market location is a higher-profile location than we had previously, and it will enable us to make our presence known."

Since 1957 Arkansas Capital Corporation has served as a business development entity with three separate branches to serve its customers. With the development of the new Arkansas Capital Commerce Center and 12.500 square feet of new office space, the business is now able to expand to reach an even greater number of people.

"If we are as fortunate in this 10 years as we have been in the past, I expect we will continue to evolve in developing products that respond to the marketplace," Walls says.

Arkansas Capital Corporation will employ 27 people in this new location.

Arvest Bank is another one of the Arkansas Capital Commerce Center's commercial tenants; it will be located on the south courner of the first floor.

Although each Arvest branch is a full-service location, this new 4,000-square foot location will be the trust and investment division of Arvest Bank. Even Arvest Bank President Jim Cargill doesn't have a central office location.

"I think of myself as the manager in the community that just works with the different branches," he says.

All this work in the community promises to keep Cargill even busier in the upcoming year. Arvest plans to open two other branches: one in Sherwood in August and another in Bryant next January.

Cargill says the goal of Arvest Bank is to reach as many people as possible.

"We have doubled the size of our bank this year, and we will continue to introduce people to full-service banking by providing more physical facilities for customers to access Arvest Bank," he says. "We will continue looking of ways to expand our business."

Moses Tucker is a firm known for its commitment to making Little Rock a better place to live. Developer Jimmy Moses says the Arkansas Capital Commerce Center project is no different.

One development that promises to please is a new restaurant that will be on the first floor of the center. The upscale restaurant will include a bar and outdoor seating for 400. It will be open for both lunch and dinner.

"We aren't ready yet to reveal the name of the restaurant, but it will be a nice addition to downtown eating and drinking life," Moses says.

Many new developments involving the Center have taken place during the past seven months. As for the loft apartments, 12 of the 16 are already occupied. The units range in size from 898 to 1650 square feet (two units can be also be combined). Each condo offers either a river or skyline view and includes an outdoor balcony or terrace. Other features include 10-foot ceilings, digital electronic security systems, a rooftop deck and garden and an exercise facility. An additional 12,000 square feet of office space has been leased since August. Eighty-two percent of the building has been leased or sold, with 8,800 square feet remaining.

Moses says he hopes that the opening of the Arkansas Capital Commerce Center will urge other developers to begin similar projects downtown.

"I hope that this project will encourage other mixed-use developments to occur," he says. "Maybe it can be a pattern for how future downtown development takes shape."

The Arkansas Capital Commerce Center is scheduled for completion in July. It's situated one block from River Market

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