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Lafayette building sells for $3 million

By Jack Weatherly

This article was published February 4, 2014 at 2:03 a.m.

Correction: Rep. Deborah Ferguson lives in West Memphis. Her hometown was incorrect in this story.

Lafayette Square, a mixed-use project that was in the first wave of downtown-living redevelopment, has been sold for $3 million.

Chad Gallagher, managing partner of the new owner, Lafayette Building LLC, said in an email Monday afternoon to tenants of the former Lafayette Hotel at Louisiana and Sixth streets, “We are excited about our plans for the building and are anxious to share them with you.”

Gallagher said in an interview Monday evening that the plans call for adding a restaurant and more retail space.

Gallagher’s firm, Legacy Consulting, is on the second floor of the Lafayette Square.

“We are in this building because we love it and believe it is a tremendous asset to downtown Little Rock,” he wrote to the tenants.

The new owners bought the building from Tower Investments LLC in Woodland, Calif.

Tower Investments originally planned to procure five old, vacant buildings whose borders are Sixth,Louisiana and Main streets and Capitol Avenue.

Lafayette Square’s upper floors were renovated into condominiums in early 2006. The building opened in 1925 as the Hotel Lafayette.

Lafayette Square contains about 30 condos in floors six through 10. Another 64 condos were to be developed in the nearby Arkansas, M.M. Cohn, Kahn and Boyle buildings in a second phase. But Tower Investments encountered the national recession, and the residential market fell, so the project was scaled back to the Lafayette Building.

Condo sales were slow because of the market, and Tower Investments started offering them on a lease-to-buy basis.

Gallagher declined to say how many of the condos have been sold.

The buildings - except for the Lafayette - were subsequently bought by a group of investors led by Scott Reed of Portland, Ore.

The Main Street Lofts - with space leased to the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Ballet Arkansas - and about 35 apartments will open in phases starting in late April.

“This really is a jewel, a real gem for the city,” Gallagher said. “I can’t say how really elated I am to have the opportunity to be a part of what’s happening downtown, in particular the renaissance of Main Street.”

Gallagher is former mayor of De Queen, where he and his wife, Jessica, have remodeled several historic buildings.

The Gallaghers partnered with Dr. Scott Ferguson and his wife, state Rep. Deborah Ferguson, D-Memphis, in the acquisition, which closed Friday.

Business, Pages 23 on 02/04/2014

Print Headline: Lafayette building sells for $3 million


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