Winrock International, the Arkansas-based international economic development organization, announced Tuesday that it will relocate its headquarters next year to the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, located in North Little Rock’s Argenta Arts District. The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub has been part of Winrock International since 2016.
Winrock International is a recognized leader in U.S. and international development with a focus on social, agricultural and environmental issues. Inspired by its namesake, Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock combines scientific and technical expertise with entrepreneurial innovation to deliver market-based solutions that improve lives around the world. Winrock’s mission is to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources across the globe.
Winrock will upgrade the Hub property to include new office space to accommodate both Winrock headquarters and Hub staff while enhancing program offerings and member services. With more than 22,000 square feet, the Hub has ample room for multi-use spaces, expanded programming and new resources, including development of a dedicated space for the new Best Buy Teen Tech Center. Renovation is expected to be complete in late 2022. During renovation, some Winrock headquarters staff will work from a temporary office at Argenta Place in downtown North Little Rock.
Like many organizations in the U.S. and around the world, Winrock adapted to extended remote work beginning in early 2020. Winrock reassessed its real-estate needs after staff surveys found that only 20 percent of employees want an office space. Winrock’s new remote work policy allows employees flexibility to work from an office or work remotely, either part- or full-time. Due to the significant decrease in demand for office space, Winrock sold its Little Rock headquarters building earlier this year and determined that its Hub building could be upgraded to accommodate Winrock and Hub office needs, enhance programs and member services, create new opportunities for growth and collaboration across teams, reduce costs across the organization through shared services and space, and shrink Winrock’s carbon footprint.
“Winrock’s commitment to Arkansas will never change. We were founded in Arkansas and our headquarters remains here,” said Winrock President and CEO Rodney Ferguson. “COVID-19 created an unexpected opportunity to optimize our real estate based on staff feedback while increasing our investment in the Hub. This greater integration of our Arkansas teams strengthens our competitiveness by positioning Winrock and Hub teams for new opportunities to innovate, collaborate and continue expanding our work in Arkansas and across the U.S.”
“The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub is a valuable asset to our community, and the City of North Little Rock has been a proud partner of the Hub since its founding,” said North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick. “I’m excited to welcome Winrock International as they increase their investment in our community. I look forward to our continued partnership to create opportunities through education, entrepreneurship and innovation.”