Texas firm buys Jefferson Square Shopping Center

Pine Bluff’s Jefferson Square Shopping Center has been sold by Schickel Development Company of Little Rock to the Albanese Cormier Holdings firm of Beaumont, Texas.

Lou Schickel said from his Little Rock office Friday that the transaction occurred Dec. 19. The sales price was $6.7 million.

The 81-year-old Schickel said he had owned the landmark Olive Street property for 30 years, having purchased it for $5.3 million from the late investor Jack Stephens. Although he resides in Little Rock, Schickel said he’ll miss Jefferson Square and Pine Bluff and rated his experiences with the city as “very positive.”

He said he sold the shopping center primarily because of his advancing age and would be be “staying busy” with his Pleasant Ridge Town Center commercial site on Cantrell Road in Little Rock.

ACH Director of Property Management Mark Hardy said renovations in the form of “a general facelift” are being planned at Jefferson Square and the company’s leasing team is working on bringing in a grocery operation to increase customer traffic at the site. Hardy said costs were still being figured and he wasn’t able to provide a total on the amount of money to be appropriated on the physical upgrades.

“We’re looking forward to being a good neighbor in Pine Bluff,” he said. “We plan to be a strong participant in the community.”

Hardy said Jefferson Square, built in 1961, “fits our business model.”

ACH is a family of companies that includes real estate investment and management interests. It holds commercial properties in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee and Texas. Elsewhere in Arkansas, ACH has four properties in Fort Smith and one in Hot Springs.