Land under building sold for $495,000; plans for redevelopment ongoing for Citizens Bank building area

Land under building sold for $495,000; plans for redevelopment ongoing for Citizens Bank building area
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - It may be considered an interesting purchase to some but a Little Rock man said Friday that he believes his purchase of the land underneath the old Citizens Bank building is a great investment for the future.

According to the Craighead County Assessor’s Office, Andrew Leslie Smith of Little Rock filed the deed July 31 on the land, which was bought for $495,000.

Smith, in an interview with Region 8 News, said he believes Jonesboro is a great place with a great opportunity for potential.

He said he is bullish about a possible project and believes it is a “win-win” situation.

Smith said he sees an opportunity for the property, at 100 West Washington Ave., to be redeveloped into a number of things.

There has been a debate in Jonesboro for several years about the building and nearby land. The seven-story building is within walking distance of the Craighead County Courthouse, the E.C. “Took” Gathings federal building and the downtown area.

However, there have been complaints in recent years about the building being an eyesore.

Nikki Heck, director for public affairs for the Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands, said the building is listed under the name of One Main Square, LLC and is not scheduled to go to auction until April 20, 2022.

Also, the taxes owed on the building are roughly $19,435, Heck said.

Local real estate developer Jerry Halsey Jr., with Halsey Thrasher Harpole, said a group met Friday to discuss the next steps in the building development project.

Halsey said while nothing is set in stone, there are several different scenarios, including federal Opportunity Zone tax credits, that may be available to help with possible redevelopment.

Halsey noted he was extremely encouraged with Friday’s meeting and that there are at least a half-dozen people involved in the discussions.

Smith said he is impressed with the city of Jonesboro, including having a major medical facility like St. Bernards Healthcare within walking distance.

“Jonesboro’s got it going on,” Smith said.

Copyright 2020 KAIT. All rights reserved.