Committee discusses A-State, Downtown Jonesboro corridor study

Oct 3, 2018

The Downtown Corridor Committee has presented several recommendations on how to move forward on bridging a two-mile gap between Downtown Jonesboro and Arkansas State University. 

On Tuesday, the Jonesboro City Council heard a report from Mike Downing, Vice President of Jonesboro Unlimited. He joined 10 other committee members to study what can be done to connect downtown and A-State. 

The committee did an analysis of the two mile stretch of the Wolverine Property, which is seen to be in a blighted area of Jonesboro that is perceived to be unsafe and not attractive. 

Downing says transforming the area into an attractive and engaging area of town would be beneficial economically for the city of Jonesboro.  A-State would also have a recruiting and retention tool for future students, faculty, and staff. 

Five key recommendations were made. They included the city adopting the latest bike/pedestrian plan with the corridor being the main priority. 

The committee also recommended the city identifying key redevelopment projects and placing those resources in the corridor to start a transformation process.  That process would lead to the announcement of a catalytic project.  In other words, a project that would jumpstart development in the corridor. 

A professional downtown redevelopment plan was also recommended and education on opportunity zone incentives can help attract investors to the corridor to start building. 

The city and members of the university will start a collaboration and communication process to start the beginning stages of how to advance the project.