A major supermarket – yet to be identified -- and surrounding retail shops are planned for a portion of the YMCA recreation facility at Camp Forbing.
The development will front on both Flournoy Lucas and Ellerbe Roads. Representative of the YMCA and developer New Quest Properties out of Houston were meeting with neighborhood leaders Monday night. The center would open no earlier than 2016.
The retail mix will range from a bank to restaurants, in addition to a supermarket that will be larger than many traditional grocery chains. New Quest spokesman said there is a need for retailers in the area. His company has been in discussions with city planners about issues such as traffic signals on Ellerbe Road.
The location isn't just a bit of undeveloped forest. Camp Forbing's recreational grounds have been in use for more than a century. It offers camping and ball parks, even a swimming pool built with the help of Elvis Presley who gave a benefit concert.
"We're gonna sell a portion on Ellerbe Road, that's obviously the most valuable commercially," said YMCA CEO Gary Lash. "But then we're able to keep about 25 acres on the back in order to build a full service Y, in order to have plenty of room and space for a day camp, plenty of adult programs, children programs." All the proceeds of the sale will go into the Camp Forbing site.
The lodge with heated floor will be among the casualties but developers will help the YMCA save some of the native stone used in construction. Other features on grounds such as totem poles will be preserved.
This winter has brought a series of commercial announcements from big box retailers and supermarket chains. A Kroger is planned for north Bossier City, a Wal-Mart for Blanchard and a Whole Foods on 70th Street.
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