Council to discuss buying Chamber of Commerce building

UPDATE: Aldermen will wait until at least August to make a decision.

The Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce building is located at 123 W. Mountain St., between Fayetteville City Hall and the city’s Development Services building.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

Aldermen on Tuesday will discuss whether the city should buy the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce building at 123 W. Mountain St.

Steve Clark, chamber president, announced plans earlier this month to move the chamber’s offices into the Bradberry Building on the south side of the downtown square where Tiny Tim’s Pizza/West Mountain Brewing and Jammin’ Java are located.

Besides housing the chamber’s offices, the building will also become home to a Fayetteville branch of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, a North Little Rock-based nonprofit organization that supports Arkansas entrepreneurs and innovators. Tiny Tim’s/West Mountain and Jammin Java will stay in their current locations.

Clark said the plan is to be fully moved into the new space by Jan. 1.

The chamber has owned at least a portion of its current building for 45 years. Officials purchased the front half of the building in 1970, and bought the back half in 1994. The current list price is $998,000, according to Jeff Pederson of Lindsey & Associates.

The 6,000-square-foot building comes with 80 feet of frontage on Mountain Street, and includes nine offices, two conference rooms, a work room, two bathrooms, a small kitchen, and 14 private parking spaces.

The building is located between Fayetteville City Hall and the city’s Development Services building, which houses the planning, engineering and community services divisions.

It’s unclear what the city would use the building for. A resolution to investigate the possible purchase was added to the July 21 City Council agenda by council members Adella Gray and Mark Kinion following last week’s agenda-setting session, so there was no public discussion of the issue.

It’s not the first time aldermen have discussed the potential purchase of a downtown building.

Ted Belden, previous owner of the East Square Plaza building on the east side of the square, offered to sell the first three floors and the basement of the building to the city for $4.5 million in 2011, but aldermen and city officials decided not to pursue the purchase.

Council members are set to discuss the issue at the 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 21 inside room 219 of Fayetteville City Hall, 113 W. Mountain St.