Jackson officials announce plans to buy "Jackson Plaza" and build an arena and convention center
JACKSON, TENN (WNBJ)-
There could be new life for an old shopping center property here in Jackson… parts of the Jackson Plaza has been vacant for 20 years.
“So we had some negotiations and conversations about how we can utilize that property and how to best move forward with the property. And it came to some negotiation on the sale price and we landed on $4 million," Mayor Scott Conger said.
The old Jackson plaza shopping center on highland used to have a Service Merchandise and other stores- but it’s been vacant for 20 years.
Now Jackson's mayor wants the city to buy the property, “My goal is to have an arena and an multi-use convention center on that property.”
While a sale agreement between the property owner and the city has been reached, the council would have to approve the plan before it goes through.
“I'm very optimistic," said Mayor Conger. "You know, our council or department heads, our finest form, has done phenomenal over the last three years," he continued.
The mayor hopes if all goes well, demolition could start by this time next year. And the plans can move ahead to build a 10,000-seat arena and convention center at the site.
Mayor Conger believes the city can afford it, “We've cut our debt in half from 76 million to 43 million. And so we were operating surpluses. And we've done a very good job of doing that and watching our dollars."
If and when the arena convention center is built on the old shopping center site, "I think, you know, over the next 10-15 years, we'll see a complete revitalization of that entire area. And this will be the jumping-off point for that. Now, I think it's an exciting time to be in Jackson. We have some great opportunities," Conger said.
The proposed arena project is far from a done deal. The next steps will be a review of the property sale agreement by the city’s budget committee next week and then onto Jackson city council members for their approval.