Allendale residents worry I-49 extension may disrupt new housing - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Allendale residents worry I-49 extension may disrupt new housing

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Some Allendale residents are concerned that a new apartment complex could be built right in the path of a proposed highway extension. Some Allendale residents are concerned that a new apartment complex could be built right in the path of a proposed highway extension.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

After years of planning, residents of the Allendale community can now look forward to a new apartment complex aimed at revitalizing the area. 

But to several people in the area and at least one city leader have some concerns about where that apartment complex will be located.

Ruth Bryant has lived in Allendale, for over 50 years. 

"This was one of the most beautiful places you want to see," said Bryant as she sat on her front porch.

She hopes with the groundbreaking of the new Renaissance at Allendale apartment complex, which will sit just a mile0and-a-half southwest of downtown, the area will improve.  However, she does have one particular concern.

"I have an eerie feeling about I-49," Bryant said.

One of the proposals for the I-49 extension sends the highway on a path right through where the new complex will be built.  And Bryant isn't the only one concerned.

Roy Burrell, D-Dist.2 said the apartments could have gone anywhere in the neighborhood.

"They could actually build housing anywhere in Allendale, which they had the opportunity to do, but they chose not to do that and they chose it intentionally," he said.

Burrell's concern is that residents in the new community may be uprooted because of the extension.  Residents were also forced to move back in 1999, before the Jackson Heights apartments were torn down at that same location.

"Why not allow them to have the same type of housing but just live in a different location," Burrell said.

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover said other options for routing I-49 include one that makes use of the existing I-220 loop around the city.

But, Burrell said the city would get a better economic boost by having it go through Allendale, and moving the apartments. He said there would be an $860 million uptick in commerce versus a $460 million bump if the I-49 extension was diverted around the city.

Glover isn't buying it.

"To think that you would end up getting almost a billion dollars to go through the heart of this city with only one interchange, with something that could potentially end up being a positive economic development for Allendale is something that I have a very hard time believing," he said.

As for the Housing Authority of Shreveport's choice to build right in the potential path of I-49, assistant executive director Travis Bogan said it's not an immediate concern.

"That's not a concern for the housing authority at this point in time and I really have no comment about any highway as it relates to that neighborhood," he said.

The Renaissance at Allendale will have 40 units, including two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Rent for the units will vary based on income, including some subsidized and some at market value, the housing authority said. Apartments could be ready as soon as late this year.

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