JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The new Jonesboro Hyatt Place Hotel and Convention Center broke ground Tuesday.
The hotel and convention center location is on Browns Lane Access Road near I-555.
The groundbreaking was held inside Allen Park Community Center due to rain.
Several community leaders attended the groundbreaking and were excited to see the project begin.
Mayor Harold Perrin spoke to the crowd saying a vision for a convention center in Jonesboro has been in the works for over seven years now.
He said he is excited to see the vision finally become reality.
"I can't wait to get out there and open the doors and welcome folks to Jonesboro," Perrin said.
Perrin said a convention center will bring business and money to Jonesboro.
"A lot of people will come, they relax, they spend money, buy gas and hotel stay and the mall is not too far down the road so people will do a lot of things here," Perrin said.
The Keller family also spoke at the event Tuesday saying how thrilled they are to be doing business in Jonesboro.
Chris Keller is moving to Jonesboro to see the project through from beginning to end.
Keller said his family has been working on this project for years and it is nice to see it become a reality.
"It is a dream come true, it really is. Everyone has worked so hard on this," Keller said. "Everyone has been super nice and some neighbors even helped us unload and I couldn't be more ecstatic about being here."
Keller said not only is he excited to be in Jonesboro, but he hopes the community is excited as well. He said this project will be a great addition for business, visitors, and residents.
"It will be a great front door to the community hopefully. Any of the current business owners there we hope to offer a great place for them to meet, a great place to host a party, a great place people to get married here in town and a great place to spend their evening," Keller said.
Perrin said he hopes Chris Keller and his family enjoy Jonesboro as much as the current residents.
"They could have chosen any other city that they wanted to but I think we all know with the growth we have and the unemployment rate this is a great town," Perrin said.
The new convention center will also be the new home to the St. Jude S'Travaganza starting in January of 2018.
Keller said they hope the project will be complete by the end of February or early next spring.
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