SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - In the heart of Downtown Shreveport, a multi-million renovation is in the works.
"We have a developer out of New Orleans that has taken this building and the two next to it," explained Liz Swaine.
Swaine is the Shreveport Downtown Development Director and says the building was constructed in 1924. It's been called many things through the years, but perhaps most famously "The Feiblemann's" and "The Sears Building."
The building that's been bricked up and vacant for over 30 years will serve a new purpose as solving a problem for Downtown Shreveport.
"We have people lined up to live in downtown Shreveport, and no place to put them," said Swaine.
The 70,000 square building will be transformed into 50 apartments to attract people like Tierra Range.
"I could actually vision myself living here," says Range.
Range is a student at Centenary College and believes renovating downtown is a move in the right direction.
"Because of our downtown life, and our culture in our area. Something like this would be a great way to bring people in" says Range.
Swaine took Range through the building to show just how much history it has to offer. She says what makes this project so special is that it's a historical renovation, and with so much history there are plenty of stories to tell. One of the most famous is probably the old escalator story.
"This was the first building in Shreveport to have an escalator, but it only went up. There was a line around the block to ride it" says Swaine.
As story has it, several people were literally overcome with excitement.
"Fainted. Passed out from excitement that they got to ride the escalator" recalls Swaine.
It's those stories that made a huge impact on Range who was asking where to sign up.
"It's so perfect I can already envision myself staying here" says Range.
Swaine says the renovations are planned to be completed by early 2015, and apartments should be ready by next July.