BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - There is a lot of construction going on in Brookland. Just to the West of Highway 49, nearly 30 acres is being turned into the Whitten Creek apartment complex.
This complex and other new smaller apartment complexes could add 50 percent more to the population of Brookland.
In most towns, new apartments and it's residents don't really make major changes. Brookland Mayor Ken Jones said it could be a drastic asset to the town.
"Probably in 2013 or early 2014, we'll probably do a special census because of the growth in the apartments and not only in the apartment complex but in other growth in the city as well." Jones said.
288 1,2, and 3 bedroom apartments will be on the site in 18 buildings. Currently the pads and initial plumbing and drainage is being installed.
With the new NEA Baptist hospital coming in just down the road; Brookland stands to cash in on increased traffic. Already the businesses along 49 seem to be booming. Lunch time crowds fill the parking lots.
David and Gina Bearden own a couple of businesses on the corner of 49 and School streets. Dave's Burgers, Dave's cars and a clothing store.
Bearden told me he didn't even know about the new apartment complex until he went to get his license to sell barbecue.
Bearden, "We already sell cars here and my wife has a little place here to sell Miss me jeans. So it's always been a good location so that's why we're hoping to get some people driving by and the local town."
Bearden says he is already getting hospital workers and hopes to profit from the concrete crews and carpenters when the framing goes up on Whitten Creek just about a half mile from his corner.
"You can have all the burgers and sandwiches you want too but it doesn't do us any good." Bearden says. "So we're depending on the traffic and new residents and the workers and everything."
When construction really gets going on the new apartments there will be hundreds of workers involved in the building process.
I spoke on the phone with Ron Jefford of Horton Drywall in Little Rock who are the builders of Whitten Creek. The plan is to have more one-bedroom apartments here because of ASU and the new hospital and the people it will draw in.
Of course with growth comes the need for services. Mayor Jones said they can handle it.
Jones said the sewer system can handle a much larger demand and the contractors did make the buildings 2-story and spread out a bit more because Brookland does not have a fire truck that could reach a 3rd story apartment. "The only thing is water." Jones says.
"As we continue to grow we will eventually have to look at our water system and possibly due something different perhaps add another or bigger water tank." he said.
Brookland doesn't have a grocery store but there is a new Dollar General going in, which is also located on 49.
Jones said they are welcomed with open arms and hinted at some other things possibly coming to town.
"Overall," he said. "Things are looking up. We're situated between Jonesboro and Paragould and the opportunity is here for us to manage our growth and it's just good things for the city of Brookland."