Two Major Retailers Set for Jonesboro - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro
Kathy Morris Reports

Two Major Retailers Set for Jonesboro

January 29, 2003
Posted at: 4:05 p.m. CDT
Updated at: 6:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Two city officials have confirmed to KAIT that two major retailers are coming to Jonesboro, and a third merchant is seriously considering an addition to the city.

The new retail megastores add to the list of industrial companies currently building and expanding locally. As many citizens have heard in recent months, rumors of a new Home Depot and Sam's Club locating in Jonesboro have been abound.

Ron Shipley, head of the Jonesboro building department, told KAIT on Wednesday that The Home Depot will locate a store part in the southwest part of the city, located on Parker and Harrisburg roads, just off the U.S. 63 bypass.

This is nothing new for Julian Zitzelberger, owner of Jonesboro Communications. About two months ago, he heard he would soon have a neighbor next to his business. He expects the traffic along Parker and Harrisburg roads to increase because of customers that will be shopping at a new Home Depot.

"Oh, we're glad to see them come," Zitzelberger said. "I think it's positive. Very much positive. It'll improve the traffic volume for us, and maybe get us more customers."

"We can officially say that Home Depot is indeed coming to Jonesboro," Shipley said. "In fact, I have the zoning permit in front of me here that allows me to write the building permit."

Contractors should begin work on the Home Depot site this week and finish this fall.

Home Depot isn't the only large retailer coming to Jonesboro. Mayor Hubert Brodell also told KAIT Wednesday that a Sam's Club is expected to open by the end of the year. The facility will be located in midtown Jonesboro off Caraway, south of a Highland Drive Wal-Mart Supercenter. The land for the new site has been owned by Wal-Mart for a number of years.

"I think they're real serious this time and hope that it can be put together this time and work," Brodell said.

Brodell also indicated that Target is seriously considering adding a Jonesboro store. While not naming potential competition, Brodell said that other cities are also being looked at, but he felt confident in Jonesboro's chances.

"I think Target will be here," Brodell said. "I don't think there's any question on Target. It's just a matter of where it will go."

Brodell says with more retailers moving in, northeast Arkansans can stay closer to home to shop, and have more variety to choose from.

As more retailers come in, traffic will become more congested in town. City Planner Glenn Batten says that one more Metropolitan Area Planning Commission meeting will be held to get suggestions from residents on how to keep traffic flowing. Batten says that in about three weeks, he'll go to the city council and ask that a traffic engineer be hired to help figure out the best solutions.

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