Thursday, June 5, 2014

The open line includes silver linings for Jonesboro, Hot Springs

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 4:28 PM

BOUTIQUE HOTEL PLANNED: In the George Mann-designed Thompson Building on Central Avenue in Hot Springs.
  • BOUTIQUE HOTEL PLANNED: In the George Mann-designed Thompson Building on Central Avenue in Hot Springs.

The line is open. To finish a bad weather day for Jonesboro and the region comes a bit of better news — Trinity Industries is going to take over the former Nordex facility in Jonesboro for a railcar maintenance facility that could employ 350.

And from Hot Springs, amid much hand-wringing about removing debris from the collapsed Majestic Hotel and long-term redevelopment plans, comes solid news of important investments on Central Avenue.

The Hot Springs Sentinel-Record reported Wednesday that the Wheatley family, a major owner of downtown property, much of it with limited occupancy, said it had sold two buildings to TKZ LLC, a group including financial adviser Robert Zunick and architects Bob Kempkes and Anthony Taylor. They will develop the Dugan-Stuart building at 344 Central for residential use and plan a 62-room boutique hotel in the Thompson Building at 422 Central. Kempkes and Taylor are partners in the Quapaw Baths and Spa across the street. The hotel will include a restaurant, fitness center and roof-top terrace, with gardens behind the property linked to trails on West Mountain.

Downtown Hot Springs and the Thompson Building specifically were recently listed among Arkansas's most endangered historic places by the Historic Preservation Alliance.

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