- Associated Press - Sunday, March 16, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The 12-story, 105-year-old Boyle Building at Capitol Avenue and Main Street in downtown Little Rock will be developed into a hotel, according to Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.

Main Street Lofts LLC, led by managing partner Scott Reed, sold the building to Chi Hotel Group LLC, led by Jacob Chi. Chi said the group includes himself, his parents and brother.

Reed and Chi declined to disclose the price paid for the building. Main Street Lofts bought the building along with four other adjacent buildings in 2012 for $1.5 million.

The hotel brand is still being worked out, Stodola said.

“I don’t think it is quite nailed down on what the hotel is,” the mayor told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1qwrx9x).

He also said he expects a “major” restaurant will move into the building.

“We’ve already seen millions of dollars invested in Main Street,” Stodola said. “This is another huge injection of money.”

Reed and Chi both declined to reveal specific plans for the historic building, which has been vacant for a number of years.

“We’ve got some contractual obligations that forbid us from making specific statements,” Chi said.

He said a news conference would be held in the coming weeks to provide details about the project.

The building is “historically very significant,” Chi said. “I know that it’s probably the first classified skyscraper in Little Rock.”

The planned hotel will continue a trend of hotel development in Little Rock, with it being the sixth hotel planned or already built downtown in the past decade.

The Chi family already owns two hotels in west Little Rock, Chi said. The family also owns five restaurants and they are nearing completion of a 15,000-square-foot building on Cantrell Road near the Pleasant Ridge Town Center that will house a sushi restaurant, a dry-cleaners and two other tenants.

The Chis also are investors in the downtown revival.

They are partners in Capitol Lofts LLC, which is renovating the Hall and Davidson buildings on Capitol Avenue, a block west of Main, Chi said.

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