Proposed convention center to hold two hotels, restaurants, retail space

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Yesterday the Delta Regional Authority announced its plan to invest $400,000 into building a convention center in Jonesboro.

The proposed Northeast Arkansas Convention Center will include two major hotels, two restaurants and space for retailers.

Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce executive vice-president Cari White said a convention center is long overdue.  "We're 10 years behind in getting our convention facilities," she said.  "We are probably the only city of our size that doesn't have some sort of convention center."

The proposed convention center could serve as an anchor venue for smaller organizations. "Galas, balls, fundraisers for charitable organizations, dinners, events like that, that happen every year."

The $400,000 investment is part of the $10 million the Delta Regional Authority is investing in small businesses and communities in Arkansas.

The Delta Regional Authority is mandated by Congress to identify and invest in the 252 counties and parishes of the Delta.

Below is the list of DRA Arkansas investments:

•       Southeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority Infrastructure
Project, Warren, AR
: Development of the industrial complex and intermodal center.

DRA: $300,000; Total Project Cost: $2,807,500

•     Cotton Plant Library/City Hall, Cotton Plant, AR: Renovation of the City Hall/Library.

DRA: $25,200; Total Project Cost: $177,200

•     Delta Cuisine – A Southern Kitchen Incubator, West Memphis, AR: Acquisition and construction expenses related to the Delta Cuisine kitchen facility.

DRA: $400,000; Total Project Cost: $1,178,701

•       Northeast Arkansas Convention Center Project, Jonesboro, AR: Construction of the Northeast Arkansas Region Convention Center.

DRA: $404,983; Total Project Cost: $5,109,000

•       UAPB Business Incubator Retail Center, Pine Bluff, AR: Expand the available space within the UAPB-Business Support Incubator and Office

DRA: $225,000; Total Project Cost:$235,000

•      Chicot County Waste-Water Treatment Facility, Lake Village, AR: Remove and replace a damaged packaged wastewater treatment facility with another packaged unit and rehabilitate a duplex pump station.

DRA: $199,030; Total Project Cost: $290,830

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The Delta Regional Authority announced today an investment of $400,000 to build on Convention Center in Jonesboro.

According to a press release from 1st District Congressman Rick Crawford, the DRA announced plans to make at $400,000 investment for a Northeast Arkansas Convention Center to be built in Jonesboro.

The investment is predicted to bring 400 jobs to the Jonesboro area.

The proposed site is on 14 acres on Race Street between Stadium Boulevard and Caraway Road.

The proposal will include two major hotels, one of which has been announced as the Crown Plaza, two restaurants, and retail area to accompany the Convention Center. There should be about 75,000 square feet for meeting places.

"The Northeast Arkansas Convention Center will be an economic engine for Jonesboro and our entire region. The Delta Regional Authority's investment will help create 400 jobs and benefit Arkansas for generations to come," said Crawford.  "I look forward to working with Mayor Perrin to make sure the convention center becomes a reality."

The entire project is expected to cost just over $5 million dollars.

Region 8 News will continue to track this story and bring you any new updates as soon as they become available.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.