Downtown Jonesboro development gets approval by city council

by Michael Wilkey ([email protected]) 138 views 

A $2 million economic development project in downtown Jonesboro received a final go-ahead Tuesday (April 5) that supporters have said will revitalize several blocks  with much needed homes.

Council members approved by voice vote the plan to rezone almost one acre of land at 309 and 311 East Oak, 1005 Cobb and 316 East Cherry from R-2 to C-1. Under the plan, developer Josh Olson can build at least 12 townhouses and single family homes on the land.

Council members voted March 15 to approve the first reading of the request.

At the meeting, Olson said the project, which will take at least 10 years, will seek to cater to young professionals and others who work in downtown Jonesboro. The property is near several doctors’ offices and is within walking distance of St. Bernard’s Healthcare and the Craighead County Courthouse. Olson said last month that the project will provide a long-term opportunity for growth in the area. Olson has said the project will be patterned after other developments in places like Bentonville and Fayetteville.

“It will be about 10 years worth of work,” Olson said March 15.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission approved the plan on March 8, sending the plan to the council for their review. City zoning director Otis Spriggs said his office has not received any complaints about the project.


A drop in fuel prices helped the city of Jonesboro save a lot of money, the city’s financial officer told council members Tuesday (April 5). Suzanne Allen spoke to the council about the city’s fiscal year financial report for 2015. The city had $47 million in revenues in 2015, keyed by nearly $40.1 million in general revenue. By contrast, the city had about $46.3 million in expenses.

Allen said the city had $764,781 left over from maintenance and operations at the end of the year, while 72% of the city’s revenues came from sales tax collections. The key was the savings in fuel costs, Allen said, noting $542,220 of the $764,781 was in the street department and with fuel.

In other action, council members voted to reappoint Matt Crawford, Kathy Cardwell and Naz Kazi to the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotion Commission to four-year terms ending April 30, 2020.