Commercial real estate developer John Flake and his family buy the Little Rock Pavilion in the Park Mall for $8.85 million.
Central Properties Inc. completed the purchase of the 67,287 square foot shopping center at 8201 Cantrell Road on Wednesday. Pavilion in the Park, built in 1987, has long been home to local businesses such as Trio’s Restaurant, Bauman’s Mens Store and B. Barnett, an upscale women’s luxury boutique.
“Pavilion in the Park offers the highest level of retail in Arkansas with well-established businesses that have become iconic brands in Arkansas retail,” Flake said in announcing the agreement. “We are honored to purchase this property which is fully occupied and speaks to the desirability of this location.”
The facility, which is 100% occupied, is made up of three levels built around an open-air atrium and inspired by a European gallery. Tenants also include medical businesses, offices and other retail businesses.
“This is a signature property for Little Rock and many tenants are in a long lease,” said Jessica Flake Dearnley, secretary of Central Properties. “We don’t have much to do on the rental side.”
The Pavilion purchase follows the sale of other older malls in Little Rock, which also attracted investors from Arkansas focused on reviving developments. The Breckenridge Village shopping center on Rodney Parham Road was bought for $11.3 million in mid-May by a team led by Jim Keet and his family and property developer Hank Kelley. This was followed soon after by a deal involving Central Arkansas and Northwestern Arkansas investors who purchased the Riverdale Mall on Cantrell Road for $16 million.
At the Pavilion in the Park, the new owners plan to offer event activities in the glass atrium to create more buzz for the facility and attract customers. The area is ideal for showcasing fashion shows and other special events that draw attention to tenants, Dearnley said.
“There are lots of opportunities to revitalize and do more with the atrium,” she added, noting that operating an enclosed mall requires a different approach to property management. . “It’s not a traditional commercial property. You can keep bringing it to life and it’s more like running a village than commercial real estate.”
Colliers of Arkansas represented the sellers, Vivicat Investors of Little Rock.
In its early days, Dickson Flake, John’s brother, was heavily involved in the property. “That makes it kind of a sentimental buy for us,” Dearnley said.