Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, the state’s largest marketing, advertising and public relations firm, announced plans Thursday to move its Little Rock office to the historic Fulk Building at the southwest corner of Third and Main streets in downtown Little Rock.
It will be the fifth major project on Main or just off Main - which had fallen into vacant-after-vacant building in what had been the heart of the city - in the past two years.The agency plans to move to the new location in mid- to late 2015.
The firm also announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Jones Film Video, will move into a building across the street, where Mr. Cool Clothing has been located since 1977. Mr. Cool will close.
The Fulk Building has been home since 1974 to Bennett’s Military Supplies, which will relocate. Cranford Johnson struck the deal with Terraforma Inc., a land acquisition and development firm in Little Rock.
“To have a company with the history and reputation of Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods move to the Main Street corridor speaks volumes about what is going on in that area,” Doug Meyer, a partner in Terraforma and a managing member of the Crystal LLC, which owns the Fulk Building and the building housing Mr. Cool, said in a release.
The Fulk Building makeover will follow four mixed use projects: the Mann on Main, which opened last year, developed by Moses Tucker Real Estate and the Doyle Rogers Co.; the K Lofts, which are to be completed in late spring, and club Level across from the Mann, developed by Portland, Ore.-based Scott Reed and partners; the Main Street Lofts between Capitol Avenue and Sixth Street, also a Reed and partners effort and to be completed within months; as well as the Capitol Lofts, likewise a Reed and partners project, in the 200 block of west Capitol Avenue, scheduled to be completed late this year or early in 2015.
The agency has long been in downtown. Its current quarters are at 303 West Capitol Ave.
“To the extent that our move will advance all that is going on in the Main Street corridor, we are very pleased. Downtown has been good to us and we have always been a champion of downtown,” Wayne Woods, the agency’s chairman and CEO, said in release.
The Fulk Building has 21,000 square feet, and Jones Film Video will use about 7,000 square feet of the building housing Mr. Cool.
Having the video facility across the street is a practical advantage, Woods said in an interview. Jones Film Video is now at 916 W. Sixth St.
The agency, which employs between 85 and 90, is excited about the move.
“We looked at a couple of other locations,” Woods said.
“We have a lot of young, aggressive people … and they wanted to be downtown.”
Parking will be in the city parking deck on Main between Third and Second streets, Woods said.
The news of the move comes on the heels of the Feb. 19 announcement that Darin Gray will be the agency’s next president. Gray had been chief executive of a niche publishing company in Northwest Arkansas, Gray Matters.
“What a great time to join the agency,” Gray said in a telephone interview.
Woods said the move and Gray’s hiring were purely coincidental.
Mayor Mark Stodola said in an emailed statement that “this decision by CJRW is just the sort of thing we envisioned when we began looking at plans for the Main Street Creative Corridor that is focused on arts, culture, science and technology. We want to ensure that it continues to be the center of not only Little Rock, but the entire state,” he said. “It adds yet another level of energy and enthusiasm, and further validates all that is going on downtown.”
Sharon Priest, director of the Downtown Partnership, said it is fitting that a creative organization be the “gateway” to the Creative Corridor.
Business, Pages 27 on 02/28/2014
Print Headline: Cranford Johnson plans move to Third and Main