Jacksonville Sees Donated Parcel as Potential Green Space

Jacksonville Sees Donated Parcel as Potential Green Space
Jacksonville Mayor Bob Johnson says the city has a plan for a recently donated parcel along West Main Street. (Google Earth)

You may have seen on ArkansasBusiness.com last week that a 0.76-acre parcel on the north side of Main Street in Jacksonville was donated to the city by the Wilson Charitable Trust, led by Mike Wilson.

The trust bought the land between North James Street and North Bailey Boulevard for $300,000 from MJMJ LLC, led by Wilson and James Peacock.

Mayor Bob Johnson told Whispers it will be transformed into a green space, eventually.

“Jacksonville lacks a square per se, so we don’t have a defined downtown like some other cities do, like say Searcy or Conway or Fayetteville,” he said.

“And so we have a master plan of downtown revitalization, which is along Main Street, to make it more walkable, to make Wi-Fi available, to do things for those millennials, to make it more appealing to the eye, make the aesthetics better.”

Johnson sees the space being somewhere people can sit and have lunch. He hopes a bistro will open up nearby, and long-term plans could include some type of water feature.

Also, the city may move its farmers’ market to the donated land.

Johnson said the city aims to have a definite project plan within two years, and to finish the green space in three or four years.

The land is also near the five-way intersection in the middle of town that is the site of the annual Fun @ Five Points festival. So it could be home to that event in the future, Johnson said.

He declined to cite an anticipated budget, but said the city would be looking into grants to help cover the project costs.

Johnson also said the green space would be a quality-of-life amenity designed to attract new people, of all ages, to Jacksonville.