Mar 8, 2023
ROGERS -- Start-up company Loloft is one step closer to bringing its "industrial co-working" concept south of downtown.
A rezoning for 600 S. First St. was unanimously approved by the Planning Commission on Tuesday.
Pending City Council approval, the rezoning will change the location from the light industrial zoning district to the industrial arts zoning district. The rezoning will bring the property into compliance with the city's comprehensive growth map, which guides development decisions in the city, commissioner Mark Myers said.
The company's 28,000-square-foot flagship location will help smaller businesses compete online with facilities and services usually inaccessible to them, though larger companies have also shown interest in leasing its space, according to a Loloft news release from October.
Loloft's co-working office space and micro-warehousing units will aim to provide space for companies needing to store or handle products by a model it calls industrial co-working. The facility will also offer shipping receipt and unloading services, loading dock access and amenities like meeting rooms, phone booths and high-speed Wi-Fi at its co-working space, the release states.
Northwest Arkansas is generally lacking leasable warehouse space, according to the Skyline Report released in October by the University of Arkansas' Center for Business and Economic Research and sponsored by Arvest Bank.
The region's warehouse market has a vacancy rate of less than 1%, down from 6.6% in 2021, according to the report.
Ecommerce growth is requiring more warehouse space, Mervin Jebaraj, director of the center and lead researcher for the Skyline Report, said in October.
RZC Investments, founded by Steuart and Tom Walton, grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton, has backed Loloft's downtown facility, according to the investment firm's website.