Paragould announces plan to revitalize downtown

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 10:51 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 14, 2023 at 10:53 PM CST
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PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - The city of Paragould is bringing life back to a historic building.

On Tuesday, the city announced a partnership with First National Bank to revitalize the downtown area.

The city and First National Bank will split the $4 million tag on the project.

One of the projects will include converting the 100-year-old power plant downtown to a venue. Upon completion, it will be called, The Station powered by First National Bank.

The Station will have multiple uses and have the capacity for 500 to 700 people.

Paragould Mayor Josh Agee spoke at the announcement and called the moment historic.

“There’s been a big group of folks who have worked for many years to try to save this and to be able to save this piece of history is huge for our community,” he said.

Residents in Paragould agree. Summer Huffine owns Backroad Social in Downtown Paragould; she said the building was one of the reasons she chose to put her business downtown.

“To me, this building has so much memory and character, so much I want to say passion for the downtown that it’s like, even though it’s 100 years old, it needs to be brought back to life,” she said.

In addition to the modifications of the power plant, an outdoor area will include an amphitheater, where the city will be able to host festivals.

The venue’s proximity to railroad tracks won’t jeopardize any events as the entire project is being built on the city’s property.

Huffine has been in the downtown area for ten years, and while downtown has had its boom in recent years, she’s excited to see the power plant bring life to Paragould again.

“It’s going to give us more exposure for the shopping and event for the restaurants to allow people to know, like, downtown has so much more than what I think people think,” she said.

The work on The Station just started this week and there are more plans in store for the downtown area, but Huffine and many others are excited about the future.

“I think it’s going to be so incredible to see them bring it back to life and that we could all get to be able to use this for another hundred years.”

Paragould Mayor Josh Agee said the city hopes everything will be finished by November 2024.