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Red River District to become a retail community - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Red River District to become a retail community

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

The Red River District in Downtown Shreveport has suffered for about the last decade—with problems with homelessness and businesses not able to stay open down there.

"Our flower beds looked like weed gardens," said Rick Kreis, manager of Nicky's Mexican Restaurant. "It looked like a ghost town down here. Trash all over the place; trash cans weren't being emptied. A lot of homeless folks around here."

Kreis said since the city and property manager, Lea Hall Properties, took over, the area has cleaned up. But there is still one problem.

Closed store fronts like this one and five others in the Red River District mean there's not a lot of people walking around. For Kreis, that means it's hard to get people to come down to the area.

"There's other areas that have a lot more going for it than downtown Shreveport,' he said. "So it's hard."

But Debbie Camus with Lea Hall Properties said that can quickly change.

"Everybody wants to know, but we're just in some sensitive negotiations right now," said Camus. "We can't disclose a lot of those until those come to fruition."

Camus can say the vision for the area is for it to become a retail community with some souvenir shops or even an antique store.

"We're interested in something that would service the office worker, the person who has come from out of town who's a guest to the city of Shreveport that's looking for something to do," she said.

The Red River District already has one new tenant: CoHabitat, a small business incubator, works to relocate to a space right next door to Nicky's.

Thursday on KTBS 3 News, we'll show you how the new location allows co-habitat to branch out.

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