January 19, 2005--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CST
PARAGOULD-- Downtown Paragould is shaping up with several renovations in place and more on the way.
Main Street Paragould's Executive Director Bob Ward says, "Paragould already has a pretty busy downtown already. We still have the traditional type stores--shoe stores, hardware, jewelry, restaurants and so on and so forth. The biggest thing we're looking at is to change the decor."
The Main Street Paragould group is looking to change the decor by adding new light fixtures along the streets and renovating the buildings that occupy the downtown space.
"The main goal is to get folks to realize that downtown is still here. We still want them to come downtown and shop and to encourage folks to come in and redo some buildings and potentially put in some upper floor housing," Ward says.
There are plans to build lofts above businesses in the downtown area making it more than just a working environment.
"You remove that 8 to 5 feel. It becomes a 24 hour event to be downtown," Ward says.
Paragould already has several downtown attractions like the "Loose Caboose Festival," but they are looking to make additions to draw in the public all year round.
Paragould is looking to attract a bookstore, several retail stores and eateries.
The old Paragould power house is a potential site for a new restaurant space.
Officials say that Paragould is a wet county so they hope to even draw in Jonesboro residents.
"Once you get started with one thing, you think wait a minute, I can do this too," Ward says.