Closing took almost 18 months from writing initial contracts
JONESBORO, Ark. – The City of Jonesboro closed Monday on property that will allow the City to move forward with the planned Jonesboro Shooting Range Complex/Educational Center.
The City purchased 208.7 acres on Moore’s Road in southeast Jonesboro from multiple owners for a price of $1.276 million. Halsey Thrasher Harpole Real Estate Group represented both sellers in this transaction.
The closing marked a significant step in a $10 million project that includes a $2 million grant obtained by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“This is a big step toward making our shooting range a reality,” Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said. “Signing those papers was a relief, because we’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, and I’m grateful to the landowners for being patient, and Arkansas Game and Fish for its tremendous work in obtaining the grant.”
The shooting range will be not only a significant upgrade for Jonesboro police training, but its design will make it an attraction for shooting and archery enthusiasts around the region. The $2 million federal grant comes through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act’s Basic Hunter Education and Safety Program.
“This transaction took a lot of twists and turns in terms of timing,” said Gary Harpole. “Fortunately, both parties were very civic-minded land owners who were willing to go through the long and arduous process that it takes for a project with this many levels of approval. Deep down, they knew this was a good project for the city, and were gracious with their patience and understanding.”
The complex will include nine trap/skeet fields, a 200-yard rifle range, a 50-yard pistol range, and 3-D and traditional archery ranges. The main building will have a classroom to hold 80 to 100 people for training/educational purposes.
“We will have training classes for shooting sports and archery – things like hunter education, safety, how to shoot trap, etc.,” Jonesboro Chief of Police Rick Elliott said. “This will definitely be a public-private partnership, so we are finding corporate donors to offset expenses.”
In the big picture, the facility will be a financial boon to the Jonesboro tax roll, city Chief Financial Officer Bill Reznicek said.
“Our police department can share it with the public, and we can host a lot of events that will bring in tourism revenue,” Reznicek said, adding that the facility is a basic need for police but also a source of entertainment for shooting enthusiasts.
“Their current facility is pretty primitive,” he said. “This will be better and should bring in some A&P tourism dollars. That’s almost a no-brainer.”
Harpole said the economic impact for not only the city, but the region, will be tremendous.
“Once it’s up and running, this shooting range will bring a lot of visitors and having a noticeable impact on hospitality, in particular,” Harpole said. “Hotels and restaurants will be huge beneficiaries of this project; and it will generate a lot of tax revenue for the city and county.”
Preliminary drawings are complete, and the next step is architecture, the chief of police said.
“We will finish up plans on the site work, and we will bid out for a contractor for site development,” Elliott said.