Plans fall through again on proposed Jonesboro convention center

Proposed convention center plans in June
Proposed convention center plans in June

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The city of Jonesboro's plan to build a convention center on McClellan Drive near Hwy 63 is no more.

Plans fell through this week and now the city is going back to the drawing board

"I've said for the past 4 to 5 years that we desperately need a convention center," said mayor of Jonesboro, Harold Perrin.

Mayor Harold Perrin said he is still optimistic the city will get a convention center.

"It would help us on not only economic development, tourism and bring folks to town," Perrin said."In 2015, we have the World Series coming here on the Cal Ripken for age 12 and so I was hoping to have all of this in place by 2015. "

Just recently plans for building the center fell through and developers on the project asked for an extension.

"That's CWL's call and A & P's call and it's certainly not the city's so both of those groups since we have been dealing on this for some time so we felt like there was no need for an extension," he said.

The developers planned to build the convention center on McClellan Drive at the Old Arkansas Services Center. Perrin says the developers are still interested in coming to Jonesboro.

"Now the deadline was Monday that they would close on the real-estate another word on the services center so that's not going to happen," Perrin said.

Perrin said he anticipates they will continue to work on the project.

Meanwhile, Josh Brown with Haag Brown Commercial Real Estate and Development said they are working on a project at the first site the city wanted the convention center—on Fair Park Blvd and Race Street.

"We did not lose hope that could potentially be a convention center project if something were to happen with the developers that were working on another project," Brown said.

He said he and his team are at the beginning stage of a project on their 14 acres.

"A few like-minded individuals on this side of the community got together and decided and thought if something did not fall directly into place with this other convention center project then we may completely start over, look at a fresh start and approach a new group," Brown said.

"We've got some ideas that could change the way Jonesboro is perceived," Brown said

Brown said he couldn't provide additional details about the project just yet. He says they have key players in place that could make the project happen very fast.

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