A potential move reported here weeks ago has been firmed up: Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, the state’s largest marketing, advertising and public relations firm, will move from Capitol Avenue to the Fulk Building at Third and Main, the long-time home of Bennett’s Military Supplies.
Jones Film Video, which has been at Sixth and Chester, will move into a building across the street that has been occupied by Mr. Cool’s. Both buildings were owned by a partnership controlled by the family that operates Bennett’s. I’d been told previously they would find another location downtown with this move, seen as a step in the development of Main Street as a corridor for arts, technology and other creative endeavors.
From the release:
Wayne Woods, chairman and chief executive officer of CJRW, said negotiations have been ongoing with Terraforma, Inc., a land acquisition and development firm in Little Rock. He said the decision reflects a commitment the agency has had to downtown Little Rock for its nearly 53-year history.
“Our agency has always been located in the heart of downtown and we have been looking at several options for the better part of a year now,” Woods said. “When we considered what we will need moving forward, the Third and Main location made all the sense in the world,” he said. “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,” said Woods.
Woods said the two buildings will be renovated in anticipation of the agency’s move.
“In essence, we will be creating two new structures by installing infrastructure required to accommodate our state-of-the-art technology and creating an atmosphere and environment that is comfortable and conducive to maximum productivity for our staff and clients,” said Woods.
Doug Meyer of Terraforma said CJRW’s leases are an indication of confidence and investment in the redevelopment of downtown 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,” said Meyer.
Jim Dailey of Flake & Kelley, the commercial real estate firm handling the transaction, called the CJRW announcement “a watershed moment” in the development of downtown Little Rock.
“When you consider what Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods has meant to this city and state, and that their new locations will essentially be the ‘front door’ of the Main Street corridor that is being redeveloped, it speaks volumes about the future of downtown Little Rock,” said Dailey, a former Little Rock mayor.
Terraforma has selected Jameson Associates, P.A., of Little Rock as the architect for the project. Meyer said an announcement concerning construction will be made when those plans are finalized.
Wayne Cranford and Jim Johnson founded CJRW in 1961 and Shelby Woods established The Woods Brothers Agency in 1967. The two firms merged
in 1990 to become Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, creating the largest marketing firm in the region. Today, CJRW has 85 employees among its offices in Little Rock, Northwest Arkansas, and Jones Film Video.