80-Year-Old Downtown Business Moves

November 4, 2004 – Posted at 5:01 CST

JONESBORO – The city of Jonesboro has been working for years to revitalize their downtown area, renovating buildings and adding loft apartments. New shops have come and gone over the years, but one jewelry store has stood the test of time.

"My grandfather was here, my father was here and yes, it's very sentimental. Very difficult decision to leave. But it's something as a business we've been thinking about over the past 10 years, so it's not been a rush decision," said Steve Pagan, owner of Pagan's Jewelry.

Pagan's Jewelry has been a fixture in downtown Jonesboro for the last 80 years. They will soon be moving across town to a new location on Southwest Drive. "The new restaurants, the new office buildings, the loft apartments, all of that's great improvement," said Pagan, "But it didn't create the type of growing retail environment that we need as a growing retail business."

Part of the reason Pagan's Jewelry has decided to move is because of parking, and that's a problem the downtown Jonesboro area has faced for years.

"It's a bad need, and I know we're working on it as a downtown community and everybody is trying to do the best that they can, but we just needed a place where we could more conveniently park our customers," said Pagan.

But the effort to renovate the downtown area doesn't see the loss of Pagan's Jewelry as a setback.

"The good news is the building has already been purchased and the other property he owns has already been purchased and will be under going renovations. So there will be someone to take their place," said Nancy Chrisman, Executive Director Jonesboro Central Planning Association.

The revitalization project expects to see $14 million dollars next year for renovations and a parking garage built on Union. But until then...be prepared to walk, something we do anyway.

"You can't go to any big shopping center without having to walk a half a block, just from the parking lot into the store and then sometimes the stores themselves are a block long inside," said Chrisman.

Sunday afternoon the downtown area will be having an open house to highlight business. There will also be free tours of the loft apartments that are available to rent.