Garland Tower Apartments
126 Oriole Street
Hot Springs, AR 71901

Owner: Family Service Agency
Developer: Vanadis 3
Architect: Taylor-Kempkes Architects
Contractor: Bell-Corley Construction 
Leasing Information: 501-623-9769

Background: Garland Tower is a historic building in downtown Hot Springs that opened in 1950 as the Jack Tar Hotel and Bathhouse. The building was later utilized for various purposes until being converted to senior housing in the late 1970s. Since that conversion, Garland Tower has been operated under a contract with HUD’s housing assistance program.

Scope: In 2004, Vanadis 3 recognized the property as an ideal candidate for renovation. We were able to fund much of the $5 million development budget through low income and historic tax credits. This funding solution was possible because at the time of renovation, the building needed significant updates to bring it to code and improve the quality of life for its tenants. Additionally, there were historic items that had been covered up during earlier renovations or that were deteriorating without proper care.

Vanadis 3 located a new owner in the non-profit Family Service Agency; we then helped the agency acquire the building,reassign the existing HUD HAP contract, and obtain tax credits and other sources of financing.

Results: Vanadis 3 resolved challenging issues throughout this fascinating project. Initially, developers were challenged by the reality that existing tenants needed to live on-site throughout the construction period. Vanadis 3 accomplished this by working with the project team to develop a phasing schedule that coordinated the construction work (which moved from floor to floor) with the relocation of tenants to temporary units. Tenants lived comfortably in the temporary units and now are back in their new and improved permanent apartment homes.

The construction portion of the budget covered improvements to all major building systems and components: electrical and HVAC system updates, life safety system improvements, and extensive finish updates (new carpet, paint, ceilings, and cabinets). Also, many original historic features were restored. These include the terrazzo flooring, railings, plaster and certain windows. 

Now that the project is complete , the top four stories of apartment units are in excellent condition, and tenants enjoy access to a much-improved community room, dining hall, leasing office, and laundry facility.