The capital of Arkansas is Little Rock, and it is also the state's largest city and logical place to start looking for Arkansas commercial real estate and development opportunities. Forbes Magazine has repeatedly cited Little Rock as one of the best places in the nation to do business. According to Moody's, Little Rock's economy ranks high in diversity. Many business owners start their hunt in Little Rock where real estate agents are abundant and many commercial buildings have already been erected. In most instances, buying a previously owned building in Arkansas is much more inexpensive than buying land and building from the ground up.


Part of the reason this is so is because Little Rock, despite being a mid-sized city, is somewhat overbuilt and underdeveloped. That is, is many commercial improvements, office buildings, industrial parks and such, sit vacant. Union Station is home to some of the most tony commercial real estate in all of Arkansas. The whole center has been renovated and updated to make it an inviting retail destination for residents from all over, and it is available for lease or purchase. With spaces ranging from 1000 to 10,000 square feet, an investor can lease a pad or purchase the entire building at reasonable prices. Apart from this, there are other available retail spaces up to 250,000 square feet. Additionally, there are almost12 million square feet of available office space!

The Little Rock housing market follows the national trends fairly closely, so the market is starting to cool off. Sales are down by about 5% from 2006. Even so, the Little Rock residential market doesn't appear well-suited to investment. While the population is growing, it isn't growing fast enough to support residential investment and development through the market slowdown. Besides, Little Rock has plenty of affordable, existing residential property. The cheapest units are about $50,000 and the most expensive are about $500,000. If you have the resources to sit on your money through the slowdown, you may be able to make some money on existing development when the market picks back up.

Arkansas' Ozark Mountains are becoming a premier destination for well-heeled outdoorsmen. The vacation rental market, particularly cabins and condos, is strong and growing, and there is room to accommodate more luxurious development such as resorts, second homes and luxury cabins. In a similar vein, Arkansas is beginning to market itself as a retirement state, so there may yet be a market for retirement communities in addition to second homes and winter homes.

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