JONESBORO, Ark. — Developers have decided to nearly double the size of a convention center to be constructed in Jonesboro.
The plan now calls for 78,000 square feet of convention space, instead of 40,000 square feet of space, The Jonesboro Sun (http://bit.ly/2cOJgbP ) reports.
The larger convention center will be on two levels and feature a 5,800-square-foot kitchen.
The anticipated cost of the center and hotel off of Interstate 555 has risen to $50 million because of the change.
Arkansas Economic Development Commission spokesman Scott Hardin said the agency is reviewing CFK Hospitality’s application for tax credits under the Arkansas Tourism Development Act.
According to Hardin, once the commission and the Department of Parks and Tourism determine that the project meets all of the qualifications, an approval letter will be issued.
Chris Keller, who will manage the hotel and convention center for the Keller family business, says he discovered the plan was too small after reaching out to organizations that had shown an early interest in having events held in the space.
“If we’re going to be able to roll up our sleeves and go into Memphis and try to take a convention that would have traditionally gone there, or has an existing relationship, then it needs to be a certain size,” Keller said Thursday.
Keller said that even if the tax credit application is not approved, he will do the expansion, if on a smaller scale.
The larger convention center is the second enhancement to the plan since the Kellers announced in August 2015 that they were moving forward with the plan. In June, the $1 million addition of a rooftop artisan garden feature was announced.
Information from: The Jonesboro Sun, http://www.jonesborosun.com