JONESBORO, AR - MBC Holdings of Jonesboro has entered into a contract with the Texarkana-based Warmack family to purchase the Indian Mall property in Jonesboro. MBC partner Bruce Burrow confirmed that news this afternoon.
Due to confidentiality agreements, no details of the contract have yet been released.
"The Warmacks have owned the property for more than 40 years, and have played a vital role in the growth of Jonesboro throughout this time," said Burrow.
MBC Holdings is in a 60-day due dilligence period to review and study the property. Burrow's conceptual plans are to redevelop the site with as many as four major tenants, three of whom would be new to the greater Jonesboro market, at a value in excess of $50 million. If the deal is completed, the development is expected to employ approximately 700 people upon opening and provide retail sales in excess of $70 million annually. With construction slowing nationwide, Burrow projects the development would create approximately 250 new construction jobs for the community.
One potential snag in the agreement could be Burrow's concerns about the city's administration, and their willingness to work with MBC Holdings to secure entitlements allowing for redevelopment of the property. Burrow cited as examples, his recent difficulties in dealing with the administration of Mayor Doug Formon over development of The Mall at Turtle Creek and the Kohl's Center.
Burrow plans to seek a meeting with city leaders in hopes of gaining support for the project. "This business of withholding certificate of occupancy permits after a building permit has been issued, as a way to make the development community do the city's drainage work or to place other restrictions for which there are no existing ordinances are a thing of the past as far as our firm doing business in this city," stated Burrow.
Burrow added, "I can tell you this, if we can't reach an agreement on this issue in writing with the Mayor and his administration up front, we won't do this deal."