Two convention centers and a massive mixed-use project at Hilltop have everyone in Region 8 wondering what's really going to happen in the long run.
In A Better Region 8 several weeks ago, we took pictures of three major developments planned in Jonesboro so we can track their progress.
Here is the first picture of the Keller Convention Center project on the south side of Jonesboro. And here's the one we took this week. Recently the folks in charge of the project returned $71,175 to the Jonesboro A&P Commission. Jonesboro Mayor Herald Perrin told Region 8 News that the Keller project now appears to be on hold until the Keller group can get either equity or commercial loan funding for the project. So it's no surprise that it appears that nothing much was done in the past several weeks.
This is the picture I took of the O'Reilly project from several weeks ago, and here's the newest one. The hotel and convention center is slated to be built on Arkansas State University's old track on campus. Since our last editorial, the O'Reillys announced that they expect the project to be complete by the end of summer 2018. There are no visible signs of construction but in an email to us, Tim O'Reilly said they plan to break ground later this spring or early summer.
And finally, this is the first picture of the Greensboro Village development at Hilltop in Jonesboro and, for comparison, this is the picture taken Thursday. I would say this shows the most progress so far. It looks as though some dirt work has been done but what's most noticeable is the fact that more trees have been cleared on the west side of the development.
There's no steel coming out of the ground on any of these projects yet. But give it time, cross your fingers and hope that changes soon, for the sake of progress, the development of our local economy and our quality of life. We'll keep watching and comparing pictures over time.
Keeping the public informed, being accountable, and seeing things through to completion, makes this A Better Region 8.
- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager
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