The Shreveport Choice Neighborhood Project met Monday night for a progress report at Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. Residents from Ledbetter Heights, Allendale and the West Edge of downtown were rewarded a $250,000 grant through the project. The money was used to build plans for redeveloping the areas. All the plans, from creating urban villages to creating park spaces, were all approved and chosen by the residents themselves. Rodney White's family has owned a business in the area for 50 years. He hopes to see more economic development in the neighborhoods.
"Just to make it an overall community where people can enjoy living, working, as well as playing," White said.
He and others also heard the progress of the Shreveport Commons, an art district that will be at the edge of downtown. That project is headed by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Choice Project Manager Chloe Duplessis says they're a major partner.
"Well, Shreveport Commons is actually within our boundaries..." she said. "And they're strong community partners."
The Commons is being fund mostly through private funds, but in order for the choice plans to go through, they need a $20 million grant from HUD. Duplessis says they'll apply for it later this summer.
"We will submit our plan, our final plan, to HUD in June, at the end of June," Duplessis said. "We should know by the end of the year, the results."
One of the top things residents requested for development is a simple grocery store but much more is planned. Choice is funded by HUD.