Businesses React To NEA-Baptist Purchase Of Nearby Land

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The talk in some parts of town, the NEA-Baptist purchase of a huge plot of land in north Jonesboro, on Highway 49.

Nearby businesses are hopeful of the prospect, a major health care facility could crop up right next to them.

Darrel Austin says talks of a new hospital located right across the highway from his workplace at ACE Hardware has been the topic of discussion among his co-workers.

"We would certainly welcome it because a hospital would mean more traffic and more traffic would mean more business and we would certainly welcome that," said Austin.

Jim Boswell is the CEO of NEA Clinic. He says the purchase of 75 acres of land located near Bridger and Johnson roads, is the result of NEA's partnership with Baptist Memorial hospital.

As for what that land will be used for, Boswell says "It could take years to decide what to do with the land as far as use for what services. So, no definite plans have not been made."

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of Baptist Memorial Healthcare, David Hogan, said in a news release Friday morning ...

"It is pretty common for us to buy land and wait a while before deciding what we want to do with it. During that time, we conduct a great deal of research, which could take years. We will share our plans as soon as they are finalized."

Right now, NEA Clinic operates out of a facility on Stadium in south Jonesboro. There's not much room for growth, however, and growth is just the thing the city is seeing more and more of.

"Jonesboro's such a growth community and we're just fortunate to have support by our patients and the community," said Boswell.

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