The redevelopment of the former Sears shopping center at University Avenue and Interstate 630, reported first here last week, is confirmed with announcement today of sale of the property.
A news release said Little Rock Medical Associates had sold 30 acres there, including two Sears buildings and three medical office buildings — the Doctors Building, Midtown Medical Park and Doctors Plaza — to a developer with plans for a shopping center anchored by an unidentified grocery store. The Doctors Building and Midtown Medical Park (to the right of the area outlined in diagram above) will continue in current usage for the foreseeable future, but a site plan indicates the smaller Doctors Plaza building west of the old Sears store is part of the redevelopment footprint, all land along I-630.
A news release from ARK Commercial and Investment Real Estate, which represented the seller, said $100 million in development is expected. Arkansas Business reported the sale price of the 30-acre parcel at $44 million to an affiliate of Provident Realty Advisors. Little Rock Medical Associates, a group of out-of-state investors, had owned the property for 40 years through two limited partnerships. Shop Companies of Dallas has circulated a development proposal for the area that led to our report last week, but they haven’t talked about plans.
As drawn, the plan resembles a footprint for Kroger-anchored shopping centers, one local developer said. But Kroger stores in nearby Hillcrest and the Heights seem to lessen that chain as a possibility. We could all dream of Trader Joe’s, of course, but I still think Arkansas limits on alcohol sales at groceries discourage that possibility. But we can dream.