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Thursday, 14 October 1999

Ark.-based Retail Chain Seeks Larger Headquarters

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October 15, 1999

LITTLE ROCK (AP) – The Dillard's department store chain is in the market for expanded headquarters, but just where remains up in the air.

Dillard's Inc. has asked the city to certify a $20 million industrial revenue bond to finance the expansion of its headquarters near downtown Little Rock. A city economic official says it's not a sure thing that Dillard's will build new office space in Little Rock, its headquarters.

"Dillard's hasn't made the decision to locate in Arkansas," said Mike Dooley, Little Rock's economic development administrator. "They could put this thing anywhere. All we are doing is offering a financial proposal to give them an incentive to locate in Little Rock."

An architect who designs buildings for the department store chain, Clyde Webb of Monroe, La., said he has completed drawings for proposed buildings at Little Rock and at Dallas.

Little Rock City Manager Cy Carney said he expects the city board to approve the revenue bond package at its meeting Tuesday. Under the package, the city would own the buildings until the bond is paid off – freeing Dillard's from tax liability until the company takes ownership.

In lieu of taxes, Dillard's would pay the city 35 percent of the normal taxes on the property.

Carney said he was confident Dillard's would build at Little Rock if the city approves the bond arrangement.

"We have the edge because Little Rock is already their home," Carney said, but he acknowledged the city has nothing in writing.

Dillard's, the nation's third-largest department store chain with about 350 stores nationwide, said no decision has been made.

"We're not ready yet," said Julie Bull, the chain's director of investor relations. An announcement could come next week after Tuesday's meeting.

Dillard's last year purchased 106 stores from Mercantile Stores Inc. of Fairfield, Ohio, for $3 billion. Dillard's kept 60 stores in the acquisition that increased the size of the company by about 27 percent.

According to documents filed with the city last week, Dillard's would expand its headquarters from 112,000 square feet to about 320,000 square feet.

The new buildings would house the company's product design, development and testing, and data processing units. Computer work now is done at a different building downtown.


Copyright © 1999 The Associated Press







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Additional Info

  • Syndicate to Realpoint: No
  • States: Arkansas, Texas
  • Sector: Office
  • Subject: Property Acquisitions (ACQ)
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