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Heifer International will sell the campus, but will stay in the country through a lease

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Heifer International announced on Tuesday that it would sell its Little Rock campus, though the nonprofit said it would continue to operate off-site.

The organization will negotiate a long-term lease to stay on campus, occupying the top two floors of the main building, according to a press release sent Tuesday.

The sale comes after Heifer staff reportedly expressed a “strong preference” for a hybrid workspace, which would require less office space and provide an opportunity to relocate resources spent on campus elsewhere. . The news did not indicate who was buying the property, or the sale price. Officials did not provide details.

Heifer officials said they would hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Thursday on her campus and said they would publish more details about the sale.

“Our staff has expressed a clear desire for more flexible ways of working and we are excited to be building this with them,” Pierre Ferrari, President and CEO of Heifer International, said in a press release. “Heifer International has a long history in Arkansas and we remain committed to Little Rock and our work with farmers across the state.”

Chris Coxon, a spokesman for Heifer International, said the nonprofit will continue to employ approximately 165 people in the Little Rock area, but the sale and downsizing will give more employees a chance to work from home.

“Our staff is eager for constant flexibility in the ways we work and we have listened to this very carefully,” Coxon said.

While Heifer International will not move from its headquarters in Little Rock, on-campus visitors can expect change when the new management takes over in 2023. Most importantly, Heifer International will close its campus educational space in December, said Coxon. Heifer said she will continue to own and operate her own farm in Perryville.

Heifer International will still occupy two floors of its current headquarters, but with a better reconfigured space for videoconferencing, as the nonprofit organization has offices around the world.

In a statement, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said he was “pleased to continue his mission in Little Rock”.

“The sale of the building allows Heifer International to put additional resources into its work and creates an opportunity for a transformative, new use of its space that will improve the entire region,” Scott said.

In a February article in the Democrat-Gazette, Ferrari hinted at the changes coming to Heifer’s Little Rock campus by saying, “we will reduce our footprint in our headquarters building.”

Ferrari wrote that the nonprofit was “exploring options to bring other value-related partners to campus.”

Ferrari, which announced plans to retire in September, could not be reached by phone on Tuesday.

Coxon said the sale will not affect plans for a new music center for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which will be in Little Rock’s East Village between the Clinton Presidential Center and Heifer International.

This is not the first time Heifer has cut its operations in Arkansas in recent years. In 2019, the nonprofit announced it would no longer offer public education programs at its Perryville farm, saying it was too costly to maintain.

Heifer completed the construction of its $ 17.5 million headquarters in 2006, joining the Clinton Presidential Center as an anchor for growing development in the East Little Rock village.

The 94,000-square-foot office is designed to be environmentally friendly with large glass windows to take advantage of natural light and use recycled materials for carpets, furniture and bricks.

Founded in 1944 by Dan West, Heifer International helps provide farmers around the world with the resources and education to create sustainable lifestyles. West, who helped feed refugees during the Spanish Civil War, thought feeding people was a short-term solution to world hunger.

Information for this article was provided by Josh Snyder of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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2/ https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/may/18/heifer-international-to-sell-campus-but-remain-at/

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