THREE YEARS LATER: Jonesboro still working to repair after devastating tornado

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 6:10 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - After the March 2020 tornado in Jonesboro, many businesses were forced to restart, while some at the Mall at Turtle Creek were gone for good, but that didn’t hurt the city’s revenues.

Even before the storm, the city was looking at ways to get more people out and shopping as the mall was not cutting it.

Chief Operating Officer Tony Thomas said after the sudden departure of the mall, his team found ways to keep revenues up.

“You know we lost that core sector there with the mall, but it also spurred a great deal of redevelopment, especially on the commercial side,” he said.

Thomas explained certain spots around town have surged since the tornado and brought other places back to life.

“Places like the Uptown have seen significant redevelopment, the Old Indian Mall property, you see other sectors there, especially along Caraway Road, which was in a little decline, but now you see that uptick in the commercial activity that is occurring there,” he said.

For the mall, there is no plan for the area right now. The space is owned by a private company, so there is nothing the city can do.

Regardless of the success, some citizens said they prefer the old mall setup, adding how it was a one-stop shop and was great for certain people.

“I think us old people really would like to see it come back,” one person said. “It is just so much more convenient for us.”