Fayetteville businessmen George Niblock, an attorney, and Ted Belden, a developer-slash-investor, have been dealing, and a couple of their recent transactions are worth noting.
Niblock recently sold the building that houses The Niblock Law Firm — founded by his father, Walter Niblock, in 1961 — to Belden for $1.3 million. The three-level building at 324 N. College Ave. has roughly 5,400 SF. It was built in the 1920s as a stately mansion, and purchased by Niblock in 1999 for $350,000. It went through a seven-figure renovation before the law firm moved in.
For the short term, Belden has leased back the space to Niblock, and the law practice will remain there. But George Niblock Jr., who runs the family’s development and investment interests through Niblock Ventures Inc., said the law firm is planning to relocate to a building on East Center Street, just off the downtown square. It’s been a family-owned property for more than 10 years.
The building currently has a tenant, Niblock Jr. says, and a relocation is still more than a year away.
For his part, Belden, who revitalizes old properties through his business Old Buildings LLC, said he doesn’t plan any changes to 324 N. College once the law firm exits.
While finalizing that transaction, Niblock and Belden worked their way toward completion of a separate deal.
Niblock and his wife, Suzanne, bought from Belden a 2,757-SF condominium on the top floor of the four-story East Square Plaza building, which takes up the entire east side of the square.
Price? $800,000. That’s about $290 per SF.
The purchase officially exits Belden from the ownership picture of the 106,000-SF building, and also means the entire building is now fully occupied.
The University of Arkansas has owned the bulk of the building since late 2014, with the exception of six privately owned condos on the top floor. The Niblock unit was the last one available.
In addition to a number of third-party leases, the UA houses its Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral & Visual History in East Square Plaza, as well as the Community Design Center, a division of the Fay Jones School of Architecture.
Hopefully, these deals are more evidence of the continued recovery on the square.