The City of Shreveport and its partners are investing in new infrastructure, public buildings, streetscaping and programs to enhance the neighborhood. These investments are aligned with the Transformation Plan approved by HUD in August 2013 and is in keeping with HUD Livability Principles that support public-private partnerships and strategic investment. These activities serve to preserve the historic fabric of the community, providing retail and business opportunities, combining new development with an Inter-Modal transit center and bike paths, and providing a range of housing to attract a diverse income mix.
This Neighborhood Strategy is focused on: 1) using public-private partnerships for catalytic redevelopment; 2) bringing diverse housing and retail into the City’s urban core; 3) reducing poverty through better transportation, improved schools, and socio-economic diversity; 4) reducing criminal activity and improving perception of public safety, and (5) enhancing the existing neighborhood through support for the arts and cultural history.
Milam Street Kitchen Incubator
The Milam Street Kitchen Incubator is a new projected funded through a $1 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Action Grant awarded in 2016. The project, located at 1210 Milam Street, will be a commercial kitchen and incubator space for small businesses in the culinary industry. The facility will have office space, a conference room, a cafe, and a coffee stand. The second phase will be a culinary medicine center, where medical professionals will receive training on how to incorporate healthy living and eating to mitigate future health risks. According to an economic impact study conducted by Louisiana Economic Development, the project will generate 32 jobs and a $3.3 million impact over the first phase. Later phases will include a distribution center, food product manufacturing, and an urban farm. Construction began in December 2017.
Public Transit and Bike Paths
In 2016, the City of Shreveport unveiled the new SporTran intermodal transportation hub located at 1237 Murphy Street. The terminal includes an enclosed waiting area, restrooms, a bike repair station, WiFi, food for purchase, and a touch pass fare system. The City purchased five new electric buses with zero emission, and is investing in an extensive bike and pedestrian system linking the facility to other areas of the neighborhood. Future development will also include new retail services around the facility.
Culture and Creativity
To honor the rich culture and heritage of this historic neighborhood, the City of Shreveport in 2014 passed the largest-ever bond issue to fund restoration of the historic Municipal Auditorium of Louisiana Hayride fame, preserve Oakland Cemetery, restore the esplanade on Elvis Presley Avenue to Grand Avenue Promenade, renovate the historic Art Deco Central Fire Station to become Central ARTSTATION, and rescue the crumbling Arlington Hotel so that it can be redeveloped.
In 2017, the City applied for an African American Civil Rights Restoration Grant to preserve the Old Galilee Baptist Church and create a Civil Rights Museum. This church, and many others in the neighborhood, were meeting grounds for the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King's first recorded speech took place at the Old Galilee Baptist Church. The preservation of these monuments and honoring this historical legacy will enhance the identify and cultural richness of the community.
Local Businesses and Commercial Districts
The City of Shreveport, in partnership with Red River Bank and through the CDBG Program, will provide $300,000 in grants and loans to small businesses located in the Allendale Ledbetter West Edge neighborhood. The City will also initiate a Storefront Facade Improvement Program, which will provide local businesses within the Texas Avenue Commercial Corridor improve their street facade with new paint, plantings, awnings, and signage.