A Searcy-area company will be opening a clothing store at the corner of Caraway Road and Highland Drive, creating at least 100 jobs in the process, officials with Haag Brown Commercial said Tuesday.
Haag Brown announced the sale of the former Coca-Cola Bottling Plant to THAYS, LLC.
Plans for the property are to re-develop the existing 55,000 square foot building as a Hays Clothing store. Future development with the excess land will likely include a restaurant, Joshua Brown with Haag Brown said.
The seller, Twin Corners, LLC was represented by TJ Lefler of Sage Partners.
The Coca-Cola building has been a landmark to about a half-million consumers that frequent Jonesboro. The corner of Highland & Caraway has been the primary center of trade since Sears opened its doors decades ago.
“Without ever having a sign on the property, we have been asked what is going to happen to the coke property over a hundred times in the past few years. Now, we can tell people that it is going to be transformed into a 55,000 square foot retail development,” said Haag Brown Commercial Principal Greg Haag.
Hays Clothing is a local family owned and operated business known for its customer service and large selection of name brand clothing, hunting apparel, western wear, and furniture.
Brothers Monte and Terry Hays created the company in White County more than 25 years ago and said they are excited to be expanding into Northeast Arkansas.
“After years of prayers, dreams and requests for Hays to open a store in Jonesboro, we are finally making it a reality,” Hays Co-Owner Monte Hays said. “We chose Jonesboro based primarily off of the fact that it is a growing, Christian community. Arkansas State creates an inviting atmosphere and we felt that is where God was leading us. We are excited about meeting people and being able to offer employment opportunities to the people of Jonesboro.”
“We are thankful and feel blessed to have been able to acquire the old Coca-Cola plant”, said Hays Co-Owner Terry Hays. “Major renovations will soon be underway with hopes of being open in early November. We will be able to provide over one hundred jobs from day one.”
Brown said the reopening of the former bottling plant, which has been empty for several years, is good for the region.
“It is rewarding to take a building sitting dormant for over five years and turn it into something employing over one hundred people and generating millions per year in tax revenue,” Brown said. “And as an extra blessing, there will be a multi-million dollar construction event taking place in the city with an opportunity for restaurants on the outparcels.”
The city is making massive improvements to the busy intersection to enhance the flow of traffic.
In a statement Tuesday, Mayor Harold Perrin said he is enthusiastic about the positive change this brings to Jonesboro.
“The Coca-Cola building is an icon for many of our citizens,” Perrin said. “It is always good to see an existing building remodeled and a new business open in our city. I am looking forward to Hays, a business which has been in existence for years, expanding into our market. They have been a great corporate citizen for the city of Searcy and will be a major asset to Jonesboro as well.”