Bossier City residents want old town charm, updated look

Bossier City residents want old town charm, updated look

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Many say downtown Bossier City is not much to look at, and some don't even know where it is. But that is something some city leaders are hoping to change soon.

The Bossier City Council is considering hiring architect Mike McSwain to come up with a plan to revitalize the downtown area. Tuesday, they voted the initial approval for the plan through.

The downtown area of Bossier City is considered Coleman Street to the north, Hamilton Road to the east, I-20 to the south and Traffic Street to the west.

"We've lived here for six years now," said Bossier City resident Connie Fyfe. "We didn't even know this place was here."

Many longtime residents said the downtown area has changed from when it was in it's heyday, when it was the place to be. Vera Carey remembers coming here as a child.

"It was just historical, it was real nice," she said.

Carey is a store manager at an antique store downtown. She said the look of the historical strip isn't what it used to be.

"It needs help, it's not changing with the times," she said.

Just a few doors down from Carey's shop, embroidery shop owner Sandra Slaughter agrees.

"The sidewalks are terrible, the parking is limited," she said.

But help may be on its way with the city leaders considering a  plan to spruce it up.

"We love that idea definitely," said April Smith, whose family owns a vintage-themed store on the block. They hope the city's plan will drive more business to their store.

"It would give you that quaint downtown feel," she said. 

Some, like Fyfe, hope that quaint, old charm feel won't be taken away with the possible changes.

"I don't think you want to go too far with it, because people know they are in the old part of town, they like the feel of that," she said

Not all shop owners are convinced the makeover will actually happen. They feel the city has neglected their part of the city for a while.

"Over the past couple of years we haven't see much happen here," Sandra Slaughter said.

Still, the shop owners agree that if the city chooses to give the block a face lift, it will be a win-win for everyone.

"I think with a little help and a little renovation here and there, it could be nice again," Carey said.

The city voted this week to pay an architect $73,800 with the riverboat gaming funds to come up with that master plan. According to a city spokesman, it's not a done deal just yet.

The council will vote and make their final decision on September 2.

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