CitiFirst buys the Century Center in Jonesboro

by George Jared (gjared@talkbusiness.net) 1,078 views 

CitiFirst Property Group LLC has bought the Century Center in downtown Jonesboro for $2.1 million. The At Risk Partnership (ARP) sold the building. Principal Jerry Halsey Jr. told Talk Business & Politics the 26,700-square-foot building is historic and his group is excited to make the purchase, and fits in with his company’s strategy to focus on the downtown area.

Halsey, Roddy Thrasher, Gary Harpole, John Drum and Tim Thrasher are partners in this project.

“It’s one of the nicest buildings in Jonesboro,” he said.

Halsey Thrasher Harpole Real Estate Group’s real estate division will be housed in the building’s first floor, while the company’s commercial division and CitiFirst Development will locate on the second floor. Current tenants, Womack, Phelps, Puryear, Phelps and McNeil, P.A. will locate on the third floor. The real estate company is expected to be moved into the building by October, Halsey said.

The land where the building is located has been occupied for more than 100 years. Sarah Castleberry Orr told Talk Business & Politics her great grandparents traded some land in Salem to buy a house on the property in 1915. The house was demolished in the late 1960s.

Attorney Tommy Womack told Talk Business & Politics that ARP wanted to build a unique building in the city. The partnership has continuously owned the property for 33 years, he said. There was no specific reason why the group decided to sell the property other than it was time for some of the partners to focus on other things, he said. His law firm will remain in the building as a tenant.

Halsey is the principal broker for the real estate group that will move into the facility. Among the company’s other projects in Jonesboro is the Greensborough Village project. It could be a $500 million-plus master planned community project. The Village would be the biggest vertical investment in the region’s history with the exception of Arkansas State University, partner Gary Harpole previously said.

The Village is being built on a 200-acre swath in northern Jonesboro near the confluence of U.S. 49 and Arkansas 351. It will take years to complete and will contain retail, commercial, office and other spaces with residential development. The Village is modeled after similar developments in Franklin, Tenn. When it’s completed, there will be at least 650,000 square feet of commercial/retail space, and more than 200 single-family homes. It’s estimated up to 2,500 people will live in the village once completed, Harpole said. There is already a waiting list.

The company is working on multiple other projects, too, Halsey said. The real estate company’s new location is exactly where they want to be, he added.

“We want to be downtown. … We believe in downtown,” Halsey said.

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