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Shreveport Common unveils results of market analysis, area shows - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Shreveport Common unveils results of market analysis, area shows promise for growth

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(Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News) (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News)
(Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News) (Photo source: Erin Buchanan/KTBS 3 News)
SHREVEPORT, La. (KTBS) -

If there's one thing downtown's Shreveport Common doesn't lack, it's vision.

But that's just a start, and investors are what make the cogs on a wheel like this one turn.

"What we found is that demand for new housing, for an artist community does exist in the area."

TMG Consulting out of New Orleans is the firm hired to conduct a market analysis and crunch the numbers, the results of which were released Monday at a press conference at ArtStation on Common Street.

TMG Associate Eric Melancon says the good news is that the numbers show promise. Traditionally, arts and culture districts do well in attracting and fueling economic growth.

But Melancon says it can't - and won't - happen without every community stakeholder on board.

RELATED STORY: Downtown Develop Authority receives grant for art district market study

"Including the city and the parish, the artist community, entrepreneurs, as well as property owners and investors."

Perhaps one of the largest hurdles Shreveport Common will have to jump, according to local developers, is changing the reputation of downtown after dark.

"Our downtown kind of operates on a clock of 8 to 5, so what you find is people have a view of after 5 o'clock that it's dangerous and it's a different atmosphere, which is different from the reality," says downtown resident and developer Leon Dayries.

Keller-Williams Realtor Keith Kiper adds, "What's good is there a lot of buildings that are in good shape that are ready for some re-development. What's bad is some buildings that are in such bad shape that they're beyond redevelopment."

But the area isn't without its successes, and local leaders point to downtown's rich history - and now documented potential - as proof.

"We have the gut feeling, we believe we know what is true, but this puts numbers to it, this quantifies it," says Liz Swaine, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority.

The report shows the potential for up to 89 % housing occupancy in the area, as well as 8 to 9 new retail, and 12 to 13 new non-retail, businesses.

But the area will continue have to fight that 'vacant after five' perception, and developers say getting additional housing downtown will help do that.

Swaine says the next step for Shreveport Common will be to amp up its marketing efforts, and get the information from the report out to potential developers and investors.

To read the entire 196-page market analysis, click here.

RELATED STORY: Pop Up Project seeks to amp up business development in downtown Shreveport

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