Opportunities to live downtown opening up - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Opportunities to live downtown opening up

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Downtown Shreveport has long been known for its plush riverfront and avid nightlife, but city officials are hoping it will soon also be known as a place to call home.

Developers are working to give the downtown area a much needed facelift and give citizens more residential opportunities.

The first phase of this began with the opening of the renovated Ogilvy Hardware Building in September of last year.

Within 90 days of the facility opening, it was a 100% occupied and now has a year-long waiting list to get in.

Liz Swaine, the Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority says other complexes, like Lee Hardware and United Jeweler are also filled to capacity, leaving opportunities scarce for those looking to move downtown.

"We have very few options for living downtown, we have under 600 units available in our downtown," said Swaine.

However there still are some options for those looking to move and live in the downtown area.

Historic buildings, like the old Red River Bank building, which is now known as 229 Milam has several available units available.

Jeri Little, a real estate broker and owner of her company, Little Realty, says the 15 unit facility attracts people from all walks of life.

"Either the young people just starting out, they like the night life, being convenient to downtown, walking commuting by bike, they like the easy access to the farmers market or to the festivals and than at the opposite end of the spectrum are the people looking to downsize," said Little.

Little says the units in the building are typically over a thousand square feet in space and cost anywhere from $172 to $182 per square foot.  These units are typically ones that are purchased, rather than rented.

It's something Little says comes with an added convenience.

"The option of purchasing is that you own it, you don't have to worry about who lived here before, it's yours," said Little.

While purchasing is the best option for those looking to live downtown right now, rental options are on the horizon.

Renovations and improvements are currently being done to the Sears building on Texas Street and the Johnson building on Milam Street.  Both will be transformed into mixed use facilities, serving as both commercial and residential options for prospective residents.

These projects are slated to be completed in 18 months to two years.


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