Construction begins on 1 million square foot industrial storage space at Port LR

State and local economic officials joined Bluestem Partners of Kansas City and Bailey Construction on Thursday, July 14, for the grand opening of a million-square-foot industrial storage space at the Port of Little Rock.

The South Port Commerce Center will be a two-building speculative industrial development totaling 966,335 square feet of Class A product. Located in Little Rock Harbor, the 64-acre project will include two buildings with a clear height of 36 feet.

Phase 1 will include a 537,845 square foot transload facility with 68 dock gates, 52 future gates, 4 entry gates, 160 trailer parking spaces and 449 regular parking spaces.

Phase 2 will include a 428,000 square foot transshipment facility with 68 dock doors, 52 future docks, 4 entry gates, 143 trailer parking spaces and 300 regular spaces.

“This investment will add much-needed industrial storage capacity to the port, fueling the growth of current and future port industries,” said Clay McGeorge, Little Rock Port Authority Board Member.

Bluestem Partners is the developer and Sage Partners is marketing the project for rental. Completion of Phase 1 is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023.

“Bluestem Partners and our extended team are thrilled and honored to partner with the Little Rock Port Authority to deliver the first of a two-building industrial park in the Port Complex,” said James Isom, Founder and Partner. from Bluestem Partners. “When completed, the park will have nearly one million square feet of Class A cross-dock industrial space and will be delivered on a speculative basis. Bluestem will work with its team to target tenants to bring to the park that complement the local community while bolstering the economic growth already prevalent at the Port.

Officials said e-commerce penetration is expected to reach 26% of all retail sales by 2025. An estimated 330 million additional square feet of retail space will be needed just to handle the surge in orders online during that time, they said.

“Access to high-quality industrial facilities is a top priority for companies looking to locate or expand in the state,” said Clint O’Neal, Deputy Director and Executive Vice President of Business for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. “Bluestem Partners’ decision to invest in the port will give the business the right speed to market, and given our favorable business climate and excellent workforce, I am confident that we We will soon welcome hundreds of quality jobs for the Arkansans.”

“The South Port Commerce Center provides the Little Rock area with a much-needed Class A industrial product to market to businesses around the world,” said Jim Cargill, 2022 President of the Little Rock Regional Chamber. “This announcement reinforces Central Arkansas as an attractive investment location for industrial developers, which is a game-changer for recruiting businesses to the region.”

Rental of the facility will be led by Jason Parker of Cushman & Wakefield | Wise Partners.

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