Largest commercial real estate transactions in central Arkansas honored

Commercial Real Estate Council of Metro Little Rock (CREC MLR) held the fourth annual Commercial Real Estate Awards on March 3 at Pavilion in the Park to recognize the largest real estate transactions made in the previous year that have been submitted for the event. 

Sales transactions are based on reported dollar amounts and lease transactions are based on reported square footage. The awards also spotlighted companies and individuals in other aspects of the commercial real estate industry – financial, architectural, engineering, construction, and development. 

Roby Brock, CEO of Natural State Media, parent company for Talk Business and Politics and The Northwest Arkansas Business Journal, was master of ceremonies.


  • Largest Industrial Sale: 8 Industrial Parkway Fed Ex Facility – CJ Cropper, Crest Realty Advisors 

  • Largest Land Sale: Riverfront and Cottondale – Drew Holbert, Colliers Arkansas and Nick Kelley, Kelley Commercial Partners

  • Largest Multi-Unit Housing Sale: Chenal Lake and Brightwaters – Ted Bailey III and Richard Cheek, The Multifamily Group

  • Largest Office Sale: 17901 Chenal Parkway – Drew Holbert and Isaac Smith, Colliers Arkansas

  • Largest Retail Sale:11121 N Rodney Parham Road, Market Place Shopping Center – Mason Lewis, Kevin Huchingson, Colliers Arkansas and Thomas Schmidt, Flake and Company


  • Largest Industrial Lease: 3700 Bryant Crossing Parkway – William Callahan, CBRE and Wes Martin, Hathaway Group

  • Largest Medical Lease: 10301 Kanis Road – Jason Parker, Cushman and Wakefield | Sage Partners

  • Largest Office Lease: 5430 Landers Road – Jeff Hathaway and Alex Cope, Hathaway Group and Marshall Saviers, Cushman and Wakefield | Sage Partners

  • Largest Retail Lease: 1209 Military Road, Central Station Flea Market – Bill Pendergist and Andrew Wiechern, Colliers Arkansas

Architect of the Year

Cromwell Architects Engineers

Cromwell is a full-service architecture and engineering firm based in Little Rock, AR. It was founded in 1885, making it one of the first known architecture and engineering partnerships in the United States. A leader in the A/E industry, Cromwell consistently delivers creative solutions for various markets, including civic and federal, commercial, and retail, education, healthcare, hospitality, industrial, and office. They also house a variety of services in-house, including, architecture, engineering, interior design, planning, building services, construction services, and sustainable design and consulting. Cromwell’s 2021 notable projects include: 

  • The Orthopedic and Spine Hospital at UAMS

  • McClellan School Renovation

  • CARTI Ambulatory Surgery Center and Dining Expansion

  • Searcy High School Arena

  • ARORA Headquarters

  • Arkansas Fire Training Academy

On-going work with some great clients that contribute to the local economy and quality of life in Central Arkansas: Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Southern Bancorp, Fiocchi, Sig Sauer, ArDoT, Lyon College, Conway Regional Medical Center

Bank of the Year

Centennial Bank

Centennial bank is a leader in the Arkansas market and is constantly working to give back to their communities as well as the real estate industry. In 2021, Centennial Bank creating a new “one-stop shopping” experience for its banking customers with a new Riverdale facility, a three-story facility with a full array of banking amenities to serve the greater Little Rock downtown area, including a community room that is available to nonprofits and other organizations during and after regular banking hours. Centennial’s 2021 CRE projects included financing for multi-family developments with nearly 400 units, low-income housing tax credit apartments, and nearly 100 single family subdivisions.

Contractor of the Year

C.B.M. Construction

C.B.M. Construction is in its 46th year as a contractor in Central Arkansas. 2021 was another banner year for the firm, where they continued to break revenue numbers over the past 5 years. Some highlights in 2021 included the following projects:

  • That Church, Cabot,  a new 20,000 square foot worship center

  • St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Little Rock, remodel and expansion

  • Ft. Smith Emergency Hospital, Ft. Smith, new 20,000 square foot micro hospital

  • Arkansas Pharmacy Association, Little Rock, new headquarters downtown Little Rock

  • Priority One, Little Rock, new office space in downtown Little Rock

  • Taylor King Law Office, Conway, office remodel

  • Fish N Stuff, Sherwood, new retail space

  • Pinnacle Dermatology, Little Rock, expansion of clinic

  • North Little Rock Fire Station No. 5, North Little Rock, complete remodel of station to the new fire marshal office

  • Burger King, Sheridan, exterior upgrades

Development Project of the Year

The Esplanade District

Esplanade is the first phase of a multi-phase mixed-use neighborhood in the Esplanade District of North Little Rock. Located adjacent to the Arkansas River, neighboring Rockwater Village and Marina, Esplanade opened in April 2021 with 92 apartment homes—all with private balconies or patios. The property also includes a clubhouse, business center, bicycle locker, fitness center, pool, beach, spa, swim-up bar, lush garden, secure parking, and entertainment. The vision for Esplanade and the subsequent property development was inspired by the connecting communities along 30A in Florida that include Seaside, Alys Beach, Watercolor and the like. Each neighborhood along Rockwater Boulevard has a distinct brand, but together, seamlessly provide a large-scale community.

Title Company of the Year

Pro Land Title

Pro Land Title Company is a state leader in title insurance. They spearheaded bringing remote online closing capabilities to Arkansas, making closing much more accessible for everyone. This project was a huge undertaking, but the importance of this ability was monumental to the continued success and modernization of real estate transactions in our state. They have fifteen locations throughout the state and their owners are local to Arkansas, so they're constantly involved in promoting and supporting local communities. Pro Land’s Pulaski County deals for Multi-Family Housing, Farm/Agriculture, Retail/Commercial Office and Manufacturing/Industrial totaled in excess of $212 million in 2021.

Commercial Real Estate Person of the Year, Jay Chesshir

In 2021, Jay Chesshir led the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce’s efforts with public and private sector leaders to support and expand economic development in metro Little Rock. These efforts had a significant impact on commercial real estate through development, financing, and construction beyond the benefits of jobs to the community. Also, in 2021, the Ford NGL Program, now called the Academies of Central Arkansas, implemented the career curriculum into Pulaski County Junior High Schools. Jay and his team have been successfully orchestrating this venture since 2019. Looking forward, a new manufacturing company, Trex, will build a facility at the Little Rock Port and expects to invest an estimated $400M over the next five years in the development of the new Arkansas site, funded primarily through ongoing cash generation. 

Commercial Real Estate Project of the Year 2021

The Project of the Year is one that sets itself apart from other transactions, and CREC acknowledges the entire team that worked to bring it together. Brokers, engineers, architects, contractors, attorneys, banks, and title companies all contribute to successful commercial real estate in metro Little Rock. Past winners include 2019 Project of the Year, Riverdale Shopping Center and 2020 Project of the Year Pointe North Hills.

The Vue on Riverfront

Moses Tucker Partners, BGO Architects, Holloway Engineers, General Construction Group, Arvest Bank

The Vue on Riverfront is a best-in-class Opportunity Zone project is comprised of a gated 244-unit apartment complex, built on six riverfront acres just west of the Broadway Bridge in downtown North Little Rock. The complex fronts the River Trail and features stunning views of the Arkansas River and the Little Rock skyline, resort-style swimming pool with cabanas, state-of-the-art fitness center with a yoga studio, pet spa, clubhouse with kitchen area, and covered parking.

Sponsors included Cromwell Architects Engineers, Apartment Hunters, Arvest Bank, Blue Whale Development, C.B.M. Construction, Ferstl Valuation Services, Metro Disaster Specialists, Pro Land Title, Pulaski County Title, and Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull PLLC.

The CREC MLR board includes Matthew Beachboard, Moses Tucker Partners, Hallie Calvin, Centennial Bank, Dan Fowler, Cromwell Architects Engineers, James Harkins, Blue Whale Development, Rose Kline, Cushman and Wakefield | Sage Partners, Teresa Kreis, Colliers, Cliff McKinney, Quattlebaum, Grooms and Tull PLLC , Kevin Newton, C.B.M. Construction, Brad Sims, Pulaski County Title, Cathy Tuggle, Apartment Hunters, and Jeff Yates, ARK Commercial and Investment Real Estate.