Changes will be coming to South Bossier soon as a result of the city's effort to fulfill requirements of a multi-million dollar lawsuit settlement with developer U.L. Coleman Properties.
The Walker Place Development, near the Century Link Center, was the center of a lawsuit filed in late 2008 by Coleman Properties, after the city denied them curb cut access to the parkway. The suit was settled two years ago in 2012, resulting in the developer getting their curb cut and the city agreed to pay for public improvements as well as $6.7 million worth of damages and costs to the developer. The city is also responsible for reimbursing the company for $10.4 million worth of infrastructure needed surrounding the mixed use development.
On top of that, Special Projects Coordinator Pam Glorioso says the city also needs to complete a South Bossier redevelopment plan. "First, you need to know what the needs are, frankly that's what Coleman Property wants to know looking at their new development, what are the needs what do they need to fulfill any voids," said Glorioso. The plan will cost $50,000 to draw up, the developer will pay that bill.
The city is looking to a volunteer neighborhood group to help draft the plan. "The South Bossier Citizens Assembly group will be very important in giving input to the city, on what needs to be done to help these neighborhoods," said South Bossier Councilman Scott Irwin.
Vice President of the volunteer group, Alvin Scott says he appreciates being involved in the process. "I think that's a good sign that we have involvement, the people we have in the group are not big shots, they are the actual blue collar workers that actually live in the subdivisions," he said. "The decisions are going to come from within the subdivision and not someone from city hall trying to push it down our throats," Scott added.
City leaders say the study should be finished within the next four months. Also as part of the settlement deal, the city will build a $1 million city park near the Century Link Center with $3 million foot bridge over the parkway. The city has to turn dirt on that project by late summer or face penalties.