Little Rock Tech Board gives executive director deal-making approval

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 121 views 

As the Little Rock Technology Park moves closer to completion of Phase I construction in early 2017, the nonprofit authority’s seven-person board on Monday approved a resolution to give current Executive Director Brent Birch the authority to negotiate and execute leasing agreements with prospective tenants.

In a hastily-called, 5-minute conference call, the board quickly gave Birch some latitude to close deals with prospective clients of the downtown tech village. The startup incubator is on schedule to be completed and ready for operations by Feb 24, Birch said.

Once in operation, the 40,000-square foot development to lure startups, entrepreneurs and maturing tech companies to the Little Rock area will connect the three adjacent properties formerly owned by the 415 Main Group LLC, Five Main LLC and DMT Ventures LLC.

After Monday’s conference call, Birch said work on the 415 Main space, once owned a partnership led by Little Rock attorney Richard Mays, has continued for several weeks now as construction workers complete demolition and abatement to shore up the building’s walls, floors and other structural issues.

“Those construction (completion) dates have some potential to move as they work through those issues,” said Birch, the lone Tech Park employee.

Birch said the purpose of Monday’s resolution by the Tech Park board was so he can move forward with negotiations with a tenant seeking more than 10,000 square feet of office space. He said he was also in negotiations with leasing space to prospective tech startups only seeking month-to-month space.

“That is more like a gym sponsorship,” he said.

Birch said after the Thanksgiving Day holiday and before the next board meeting in early December, the Tech Park is working on a timeline to make some major announcements “to let people know about all the progress we’ve made.”