August 23, 2007 - Posted at 10:30 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-For nearly two years the Indian Mall has sat mostly vacant at the corner of highland and caraway.
The recent news of changes to the area excited many, but as we learned today the city had a few questions to be answered before the resolution was put to a vote.
"All in favor. Aye. Any opposed? (silence)"
With those words the withering area around the old Indian Mall is about to get new life.
"We felt like with the number of jobs that were at stake, 500 to 600 new jobs, the development of the old mall site, right in the heart of the city. We felt like it was necessary to come forward today and get this moving as quickly as we could," said Mayor Doug Formon.
Last month Bruce Burrow and his group MBC Holdings proposed to the city a purchase of the Indian Mall for redevelopment, but after several meetings there were still questions in the air.
"We had a concern with the document saying the City shall issue a building permit, and the City shall issue a certificate of occupancy when we do not know what the plan is or what they are planning to build," said Assistant City Attorney, Carol Duncan.
After assurance that MBC would still have to follow the city's approval process, the biggest concern focused on the drainage issue.
"City Engineering is fairly comfortable that as long as there are not any significant changes to the topography that is there now, they wont' have a significant impact anymore so, than what's currently there," said Cheif Engineer, Kelly Panneck.
So with most of the major concerns addressed, the city said move forward.
"It's really only been dead for a little over a year, but it seems already that it's been a lifetime. So, yeah, we're very excited to see it come back around and to see something new come in there. Anytime MBC Holdings comes in and does anything, it's always fantastic, as you can tell by the Mall at Turtle Creek," said Formon.
And when i asked the mayor about the tension in coming to an agreement of this sort, he had this to say.
"I think anytime you are going to sink 60-million dollars into a community, you want to make sure on the front end that you have a commitment from the city and that they are going to go forward and do what they need to do. We are committed 100-percent. We want to see it happen," said Formon.
The development of the area is expected to bring 500 to 600 new jobs to Jonesboro, as well as, about 55-million new dollars in tax revenue.