Main Street developer puts MM Cohn, Hall buildings up for sale

Reed Realty, which bought the MM Cohn Co. Building on the 500 block of Main along with all the other buildings on the west side of that street in 2012, is selling the former department store and two other Reed properties, the Davidson building and the Hall building, at 215 W. Capitol, because of the state’s new rule on historic tax credits, Josh Blevins of the company said today.

Asking prices are $3.7 million for the MM Cohn Co., 510 Main St.; $2.3 million for the Hall Building and $895,000 for the Davidson Building. Reed expected to develop the Hall-Davidson properties as one apartment complex. Flake & Kelley are realtors.

The new state rule allows only one tax credit for each eligible property for a 24-month period. The law allows a developer to get a tax credit of 25 percent of the first $500,000 in expenses on an income-producing patroperty. Blevins said he would get back to the Times on how much Reed has invested and how many tax credits the developers were relying on.

In an interview for a Times article on downtown development in January, Blevins said the MM Cohn space, which Reed announced two years ago would be the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra offices, would be complete by February, after special lighting and flooring had been installed. Blevins said the sale of the building should not affect the Symphony’s tenancy. Christina Littlejohn, executive director of the symphony, has not returned a call.

In that same interview, Blevins said the 1924 Hall-Davidson buildings would be developed into 56 apartments, and that a brewery and three other restaurants were interested in locating on the ground floor.

Progress on Reed properties on the 500 block of Main has been slow, though Blevins said the Arkansas Repertory Theatre has moved into it space in what was known as the Arkansas Building and its annex, adjacent to the MM Cohn building. Also, Reed has still not completed the KLofts project begun five years ago to convert the former Blass building at 315 Main St. into residences. Most of the work has been completed, but appliances are still lacking. In a January article on downtown development in the Times, Blevins said the company was waiting on appliances but expected to open in March. Today, Blevins said the issue is not capital, but appliances. There are 32 units in the KLofts. I’d bet Sears would deliver.

The news of these sales comes on reports — as yet unconfirmed — that plans to turn the Boyle Building at Capitol and Main into an Aloft hotel have run into difficulties. Calls to Jacob Chi and Jasen Chi of owners Chi Hotel Group have not answered repeated calls.