JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - With all the new construction downtown, what's going where and when will they open?
The sound of a power saw in downtown Jonesboro means a new business is one cut board closer to opening.
YoLoFroYo is a yogurt franchise out of Memphis, Tennessee and is scheduled to open right around the time classes crank up for ASU.
Downtown developer Clay Young says that time of the year appears to be the target date for several new restaurants.
Young, "Vino's Pizzeria which is going into the old Sheffield's restaurant and right next to that is Trail's End BBQ and we'll have Bamboo Japanese Hibachi Steak house. Omar's downtown will be opening up that same time as well."
Young went on to say that Jonesboro's downtown is being developed in kind of a reverse way than most cities. "Typically restaurants come after retail and what we have seen in Jonesboro is just a huge influx of restaurants wanting to be down here."
Several new office spaces are in the process of remodeling as is the Iberia bank which has a target opening date for September. When you look up and down Main Street, the different appearances of each building gives the street a unique appearance. Sara Trimarchi who owns Sookie's Gluten Free Bakery says owners are pretty much given free reign since downtown doesn't adhere to a historical area.
Another point is that nearly every building has a tenant or is in the process of being remodeled. Young says that there are very few buildings left. He says that with his buildings it is a big recycling program. They will remodel, the phone will ring and a new client will want something brand new.
Amy Long photography and H-M-G are two new businesses that share entry space on Main street right next to the new Gallery 451.
Perhaps the biggest change in retail will be the opening of Gearhead Cycle House in the former Winter Wonderland building. Owner Ted Herget worked over the weekend to move the entire bike part of his old store across the street to be able to open this week. Herget has done his research and tried to bring the building into an up-to-date version of it's former self.
Larry Grisham owned a clothing store in the building 50 years ago. Tuesday he dropped in for a look at his former location.
Grisham, "I'm amazed when I look around and see the places where there were stairways and where my old office was. Fond memories keep flooding.
When asked if he thought that downtown would ever look like it does today, Grisham shook his head. "I think they have done an amazing job, I really do. It's exciting to come down here, it's different, it's interesting and it's something that a lot of us haven't done for years."
As far as jobs go, probably the biggest downtown employer will be Rural Sourcing, Inc. Which will hire about 65 people for it's I.T. based company. That company is headquartered in the old Harris furniture store.
Over all Young says there will be a lot of jobs to be had in downtown.
Young, "The combined number of jobs really between the different restaurants that are opening up is going to add about another 200 jobs."
From empty old buildings to a thriving, expanding, marketable, downtown brings in the customers.
Tremarchi, "You can go anywhere in the United States but your downtown is going to be your heart and soul of your community."