PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The Paragould city council approved annexing 40 acres of land into city limits Monday night.
The land, located along Highway 49 South, was surrounded by city limits on three sides but was never actually in Paragould.
The land was annexed in under agricultural zoning. However, Mayor Mike Gaskill told Region 8 News that it would likely be rezoned in the future.
Paragould realtor Jason Gazaway represents the property owner. He said the area holds a lot of potential for the future.
"We could do a large commercial development there with an office, medical, mixed use," Gazaway said.
Realistically speaking, Gazaway said the property will be developed in five to ten years.
That doesn't mean that there isn't a lot of interest in building in Paragould right now.
Gazaway said last year was the biggest year Paragould has seen in terms of commercial construction since 2008.
National chains like CVS, Aldi's, Arby's and Tractor Supply Company all broke ground in Paragould in 2015.
In years past, Gazaway said they had trouble convincing corporations to locate on Highway 49 in Paragould because they all wanted to be located near Walmart on Highway 412 West.
"When dealing with corporations that are not here, they are not local people, they have rules," Gazaway said. "They want to know where Walmart is."
Gazaway said the problem was that so much of the land near Walmart was already developed.
He said now, more and more businesses realize the opportunity and space that Highway 49 has to offer.
"That's what I spend a lot of my time doing is trying to figure out who's going to come within the next five to ten years and what their needs are going to be," Gazaway said. "We want to make sure we have plenty of properties available for those."
Gazaway said there are a lot of homes on Highway 49 South that are slowly being transformed into commercial property.
He said he felt that since a Walmart Neighborhood Market opened up on the highway, more properties will have commercial buildings on them soon.
"A lot of these companies, when they come here and see that, they know that Walmart did their research, their demographic research, their traffic count research," Gazaway said. "If it's good for Walmart, it helps us a lot."
Walmart Neighborhood Market is slated to open on June 1.
Gazaway said he is currently in talks with another company that is interested in locating on Highway 49 near Aaron's: Rent to Own Furniture.
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