Jonesboro City Council approves first reading of downtown residential project

by Michael Wilkey ([email protected]) 114 views 

Developer Josh Olson said a project to build homes for young professionals in downtown Jonesboro will be long-term with a winnable goal.

“It will be about 10 years worth of work,” Olson said minutes after council members approved the first reading of a rezoning request.

Council members gave tentative approval Tuesday (March 15) for a downtown revitalization project that Olson said will bring at least $2 million into downtown Jonesboro during the first two phases.

The council approved the first reading of an ordinance to rezone nearly one acre of land at 309 and 311 East Oak, 1005 Cobb and 316 East Cherry from R-2 to C-1. Under the proposal, the developer can put up to a dozen townhouses and single family residences on the property.

Olson, with Jonesboro Realty and one of the developers of the property, said March 8 that the proposal will seek to revitalize downtown Jonesboro. The proposal is similar to other projects built in places like downtown Bentonville, Olson said.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission voted March 8 to rezone the property. Olson said at the MAPC meeting he is hopeful the project, which is still in its development stage, will help draw residents to the downtown area, with restaurants, St. Bernard’s Healthcare and the Craighead County Courthouse nearby.

On Tuesday, Olson reiterated his statement, noting the initial plan calls for homes to be built on Cobb Street and wrap around to Matthews Avenue.

“We are hoping that the first couple will serve as the catalyst for the entire project,” Olson said.

The second reading of the proposed ordinance is set to be heard at the council meeting on April 5.

In other business, the city’s Nominating and Rules Committee voted Tuesday to reappoint Naz Kazi, Matt Crawford and Kathy Cardwell to four-year terms on the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Commission. The terms, which were set to expire April 30, 2016, are set to expire April 30, 2020.

The full council will take up the appointment issue at its April 5 meeting. On Monday, officials with the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce announced they were ending their agreement with the A&P commission on managing the commission’s day to day operations, citing an increased workload.

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