Old department store to be transformed into loft apartments


Texarkana, Arkansas city leaders call it a good problem to have.  Thursday, they navigated the issue of downtown parking for future loft apartments.

The Wright family has big plans for the historic, vacant building at the corner of Broad and Walnut Streets.  Jeffrey Wright looked at old pictures of Wooten’s Department Store.  “In the 1920’s, this building is being remodeled.”  After Wooten’s closed, the building later was used as a nightclub, The Coliseum.  Jeffrey’s son, Christian Wright, said, “There’s a lot of space, solid bones for this building.  So, I think we can shoot for the stars on this one.”

The Wright family bought the building last month under the name Pagame, LLC.  They’re pretty certain they’ll call their complete project ‘Gateway Lofts.’  They plan to transform the old space into thirty, above market-rate apartments.  Christian said, “Multi-cultural living environment really.  We’re gonna have different things that we offer, weight room, lounge room.”

Thursday, the Wright’s negotiated future parking for their residents with the city of Texarkana, Arkansas.  The contract, which is not yet finalized, calls for a five year lease for sixty four spaces, at five thousand dollars annually.  Parking is a block down the street from the building.  City Manager Kenny Haskin said, “We’re now trying to redirect them in an area about a block away that we feel like will accommodate their needs.”

The first apartments should be available sometime in 2019.  Christian said, “Every little building has its own rich history, and it’s incredible to be a part of that.”

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