Entire block of Downtown Shreveport rehabbed, new businesses set to open

Entire block of Downtown Shreveport rehabbed, new businesses set to open
Agora Borealis is preparing to open their doors.
Agora Borealis is preparing to open their doors.

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - An entire block in downtown Shreveport is about to come alive as five new businesses are set to open. The new businesses located on Lake Street range from a granola shop to a bohemian art shop, they are joining the effort to revamp and use the old historic downtown buildings.

When Katy Larsen was looking for a place for her new bohemian art shop in downtown Shreveport, she immediately fell in love with the space in a historic building on Lake Street. "It [the space] has history and flaws that are perfect for us," said Larsen.

Larsen wasn't the only one intrigued by the old building, Jeff Spikes and Jason Cram were interested as well. Both are owners of architecture firms and decided to share a space. 

"We stumbled in here and found it, thought it was a perfect location," said Spikes and explained their building started as two brick walls, but has now been transformed into a unique space. The office features stairs going up to a second floor loft and a slide to get down to the main floor.  "What other place gets a slide in their office, you can't beat that?" said Cram. 

"These historic buildings really apply themselves to anything you want to do as long as long as you have the imagination to do it," said Downtown Development Director Liz Swaine, who explained many of the spaces have been vacant for a while.

She's happy to see new life breathed into the block. "There are a lot of vacant buildings downtown, it's nice to be a part of bringing a few of them back, even if it is just a small part," said Cram. 

"I hope that we are an example of something cool that can come from putting efforts back into the core of the city," Spikes added. 

According to Swaine, there are several more projects like this one in the works in downtown, they range from small to very large. But even still, Swaine explained there are still vacant buildings available to be transformed into something new.

The grand opening for the five businesses is Thursday. The party will include food trucks, live music, beverages, and tours from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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