The former Indian Mall in Jonesboro, northeast Arkansas’ first major enclosed shopping center and a nostalgic memory for many shoppers long after its 30 years in operation, will soon be reborn.
Haag Brown Commercial, the Jonesboro real estate and development firm, announced Friday that the property has been sold to Highland Street Group LLC, an investment company from Memphis that has engaged Haag Brown to redevelop the site.
The deal for the 16-acre property at Highland Drive and Caraway Road closed on Thursday, according to a news release from Haag Brown, which described it as “one of the most talked about and rumor-centered properties in the history of Jonesboro.”
No financial details were revealed, but Joshua Brown, the broker of record for the transaction, said his firm had been “intimately involved” in plans for the site for more than two years.
“We are in final negotiations with three tenants who will completely transform the old Kmart space at the Highland Square Shopping Center. We also led the conversion of the Coca-Cola corner from an abandoned industrial building to a retail clothing store to a new technology office that will employ hundreds of people. We are now ready to make dramatic changes at the old mall site as well.”
The old mall was closed in 2008 and demolished in March 2012; a new Kroger Marketplace store occupies part of the site. Haag Brown has filed preliminary architectural drawings featuring 35,000 SF of retail space connecting Kroger Marketplace to the site’s old Sears building, an 80,000-SF big-box space that will also be redeveloped. Plans call for four retail and restaurant “out-pads” along Caraway Road and Highland, and a large mixed-use development behind the Kroger store.
The mall site will get a new name in a rebranding effort, but Brown isn’t ready to completely ditch the “Indian Mall” association. “Our team has worked up several different marketing campaigns,” he said. “Most people in northeast Arkansas have a warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feeling when they hear ‘Indian Mall,’ so we may incorporate that into our name and branding efforts. A Haag Brown news release said that the property is drawing attention nationally and negotiations are underway with many potential tenants.
“Kroger Marketplace has proved to be the single top regional draw in this retail trade area,” Brown said. “Grocery stores tend to be the best anchor because of the daily traffic they generate. There will be restaurants and retailers who want to be next to Kroger.”
Amid a generally lackluster economic expansion across the state and nation, Jonesboro has enjoyed one of Arkansas’ more dynamic economies in recent years. Since 2012, the region has been one of the top three in the state for economic expansion.
“We are not ruling out any possibilities for this space,” said Haag Brown Commercial Principal Greg Haag. “We envision the old Indian Mall parking lot once again full of consumers and new employees. It will be a boost of momentum for the Jonesboro retail market.”
Haag Brown also expects the project to “greatly increase the city’s annual tax revenue while creating hundreds of jobs.
Link to full article at Arkansasbuisness.com
Article written by Kyle Massey