March 23, 2007 - Posted at 4:05 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-For the last couple of years downtown Jonesboro has seen it's fair share of growth, and that expansion is now making it one of the most attractive areas in the city."There's a fresh live feeling now, as opposed to an old run down feeling," said Paula Robertson with the Jonesboro Downtown Association.
That's because nothing in downtown Jonesboro could really be called old anymore.
All it takes is a walk down the street to see an area on the move.
"I think we've come a long way. We've gone from older building to buildings being refaced and renovating," said Robertson.
It's not just the buildings that are being renovated, so is the spirit of downtown.
"If you want something different, a little more unique, if you want a different type of shopping, or service oriented experience, then coming downtown is where you are going to find it," said M.G. Meyering of the Downtown Jonesboro Association.
What you will also find is plenty of construction underway.
First Baptist Church is nearing completion of their new addition, and businesses like the Brickhouse Grill are just days from opening.
Doug Wilcoxson just opened his children's store on Church Street two weeks ago, and says it's been a good move.
"We get visitors all the time, whether they are customers or other owners of other businesses downtown. They come to greet us and to thank us for being here. Even the customers come in and love looking for items downtown. It's just a good place to be," said Wilcoxson.
The signs of progress can be seen on just about any corner in downtown Jonesboro, whether it be scaffolding or the trash bins that have lined Main Street for the last few months.
Another hot commodity is downtown living, which has been keeping contractors very busy.
"The upstairs living spaces have been a great boom to downtown. It just gives downtown life. The way it's designed is for there to be retail space downstairs and living spaces upstairs," said Robertson.
"It's a very diverse place to live. It's not your basic white sidewalk, no tree neighborhood. It's got a lot of character down here," said Meyering.
Whether it be residents or business owners, the charm of downtown is drawing a crowd.
"I was worried at first that there might not be as much traffic down here as near the mall, but that's not the case. More people are starting to come downtown. Everything is getting redone. It's like a newer place down here, and it's just a great atmosphere," said Wilcoxson.
We are told the Jonesboro Downtown Association is also looking to add 100 new parking spots to the area to accommodate growth. They say once construction is complete on many of the buildings that will also free up more parking.
***Contacting the Jonesboro Downtown Association***
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.downtownjonesboro.org
By Phone: 870-336-1454