Developers Modify Plans, Select New Site for Proposed Arkansas Aloft

McKibbon Hotel Group, the Gainesville, Ga.-based developer of a proposed Aloft hotel in Little Rock, Ark., has announced plans to relocate its future property.

Originally planned for a site approximately 25 minutes from Little Rock National Airport—near Little Rock's River Market District, the Clinton Presidential Library, Alltel Arena and the Little Rock Zoo, as well as the corporate headquarters of Alltel and Dillard's Department Stores—Aloft Little Rock West will now be located just outside the River Market District, on the site of an existing parking lot.

"We can still develop a new, exciting hotel in the River Market District that we believe will not only be successful, but beneficial to all of downtown," McKibbon CEO John McKibbon said in a statement.

Conflict over the previous Aloft site arose early this month when its future neighbors—the Central Arkansas Library System and commercial realtors Moses Tucker Real Estate—raised objections about the height of the planned building, which would have stood seven stories high in an area of downtown Little Rock that limits buildings to four stories or 48 feet. The new site is located in an area that is not subject to such restrictions.

As reported last month, the new Aloft hotel will be Starwood Hotels & Resorts' first in Little Rock. Current plans call for 130 rooms and approximately 600 square feet of meeting space, construction on which is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2009, with a projected opening of spring 2011.