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Agency awards LR $150,000 for project

Grant to help redevelop Main Street
A plan years in the making just found new life with the aid of a federal grant to redevelop downtown Little Rock’s Main Street.

Little Rock, the University of Arkansas Community Design Center and Marlon Blackwell Architect received a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the agency announced Tuesday.

The grant will allow a private developer, Reed Realty Advisors, to take existing buildings on Main Street, renovate them and make them available and desired by arts and cultural organizations, Mayor Mark Stodola said. The revitalization will include four buildings in the 500 to 600 block of Main Street and could possibly move into the 300 and 400 blocks, he said.

A California-based company, Tower Investments, owns the buildings, which are now vacant.

The developer matched the grant, and city staff gave $7,500 in in-kind donations for the project, Stodola said.

Nearly 450 communities applied for the inaugural Our Town grant, and only 51 received a portion of the $6.5 million funding for designing, planning and arts engagement projects. A nine-member panel of the agency reviewed all applications, and it thought it was the right grant and the right time for a revitalization project in Little Rock, said agency Director of Design Jason Schupbach.

“Little Rock has done a lot of preplanning,” he said. “And now it is the moment to invest in design.”

In 2009, the city sponsored a three-day community forum, where architects and urban planners agreed Main Street had room for new construction.

One year later, the federal Environmental Protection Agency chose Little Rock and four other state capitals to take part in its new Greening America’s Capitals project. While the cities did not receive money directly for the grant, the agency hired planners to visit and help brainstorm environment-friendly landscaping and infrastructure methods.

The city applied for the arts grant about three months ago, Stodola said. The project will begin Oct. 1 and is to end Sept. 30, 2012, he said.

The buildings’ upper floors will be used for office and residential spaces, while the lower floors will be for organizations, he said.

“We feel it will help stimulate this quarter,” he said. “The ultimate objective is to have the opportunity to develop a vibrancy on Main Street, similar to the kind of activity in the River Market area.”

This article was published on page 11 of the Thursday, July 14, 2011 edition in the Arkansas section.

Ride to Cure Diabetes

Hank Kelley and family is riding together this October in the JDRF Death Valley, CA Ride to Cure Diabetes to help find a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Their goal together is to raise $24,000 to help cure diabetes. JDRF is the worldwide leader in funding research to find better treatments and a cure for type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly and lasts a lifetime. The Kelley family hopes that through their newsletters, you will be able to see WHO they are riding for, WHAT they are riding for (to find a cure) and HOW they are preparing for the RIDE. The Kelley’s are all over the nation training as one family for this ride of 104 miles and raising support to help find a cure.They pray and hope that you will join them in making a difference! Go to ride.jdr.org to contribute!

To view the Kelley’s newsletter and to find out more on how you can support JDRF, www.flakeandkelley.com

James Harkins – Arkansas Business 2011

James Harkins was just named to this year’s Arkansas Business 40 Under 40 list.

www.arkansasbusiness.com to view James’ profile.

www.arkansasbusiness.com to view the complete list.

Cheryl White Receives RPA Designation

Cheryl White, with Flake & Kelley Commercial, recently received her RPA designation.

The Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation is a professional designation for people who work in property management. The designation is administered by BOMI International, an independent nonprofit institute for property and facility management education.

The designation requires the completion of eight courses, as well as, three years of qualifying, documented experience in property management at a property 40,000 square feet or larger. BOMI International courses are often conducted by BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) local organizations as an educational benefit for their members and by corporations as part of their internal training for property management professionals. Approximately 4,200 persons maintain the RPA designation, including about 3,500 in the United States and 700 in Canada.

The program includes coursework on building systems design, operation, and maintenance; commercial real estate law; investment and finance; risk management and insurance; leasing and marketing; asset management; environmental health and safety; and business ethics.

Hank Kelley Receives CRE Designation

Hank Kelley, CEO of Flake & Kelley Commercial, recently received his CRE (Counselors of Real Estate designation. The Counselors of Real Estate is the membership organization established exclusively for real estate advisors who provide intelligent, unbiased, and trusted advice for a client or employer.

Membership in the organization is awarded by invitation only through peer, employer and client review. The CRE credential is awarded only to those individuals who are invited by their peers into the membership of The Counselors of Real Estate. It declares individual professional achievement in the real estate counseling profession, acknowledges an advisor’s status as one of the most trusted professionals in the field of real estate, and demonstrates peer recognition of outstanding intelligence, integrity, and judgment in real estate.

Hank Kelley joined Flake & Kelley Commercial in 1984 as a Partner and has worked to help build the company’s management portfolio and brokerage clients. Hank has over 30 years of experience and extensive knowledge of the Little Rock and Arkansas commercial markets. He is a board member of US Bank, Keith Smith Company and the Downtown Partnership, and is past president of the Central Arkansas Executive Association. Hank regularly speaks to various business and educational groups.