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Nettleton Baptist Buys Fairgrounds in Jonesboro for $6.65M

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Nettleton Baptist Church has closed on a $6.65 million purchase of the Northeast Arkansas District Fairgrounds property at 7001 E. Johnson Ave. in Jonesboro, according to a news release from Haag Brown Commercial, which represented the church in the deal.

The church, which now operates at 4701 E. Nettleton Ave., plans to renovate an existing 115,000-SF building on the fairgrounds property as its worship center. The goal is for the new campus to be open by the end of the year. 

The renovation is expected to cost about $2.5 million.

“Nettleton Baptist stepped in at the right time and was a perfect fit,” Greg Haag, principal at Haag Brown Commercial, said in a news release. “The existing facility met their expansion needs without the hassle and wait period associated with constructing a new campus.”

The property came up for purchase amid the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the Craighead County Fair Association, in October 2014. At the time, the association listed close to $10 million in debt.

In an email, Josh Brown, another principal at Haag Brown, said proceeds from the sale would pay creditors and vendors. Colliers International of Little Rock represented the fair in the sale.

The fairgrounds property purchased by the church has six buildings, including the 115,000-SF exhibit building, and about 78 acres of land.

Nettleton Baptist, which has average weekly attendance of about 700, sold its current property at 4701 E. Nettleton Ave. in Jonesboro to the Fullness of Joy Ministries for $2.75 million. Nettleton Baptist will continue to worship at the current facility until the renovations are complete at the fairgrounds.

The fair has taken place at the Johnson Avenue site for the past three years, and Nettleton Baptist has said the fair can use it this September, too.

“The Northeast Arkansas District Fair is open to use our facility this coming September if they so choose,” Stan Ballard, the church’s senior pastor, said in the news release.

Nettleton Baptist is also selling another 22-acres of land at Farville Curve on East Johnson Avenue to help offset the cost of the new property. The church also intends to have a stewardship campaign to support the project.

The fairgrounds is also selling 11.7 acres of property at the corner of Fairpark Boulevard and Parkwood Road in Jonesboro. It’s scheduled to be auctioned at 11 a.m. Aug. 4 by United Country Real Estate. The property is described as “prime commercial development land” and is surrounded by restaurants and retail outlets

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