Retro Downtown among new businesses coming to the heart of Shreveport

Retro Downtown expected to open soon in Shreveport

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Shreveport is seeing more victories than defeats in its downtown business community.

That’s the word from the Downtown Development Authority.

The group’s executive director credits one success for helping create another, from new shops to new downtown residents.

New businesses moving into downtown Shreveport have helped offset some of those lost in recent years, according to DDA Executive Director Liz Swaine.

She pointed to the closure of the Hallmark store, where that space is now about to have a new tenant.

“There’s a prepared nutrition business that’s moving into that site. So we’re excited to see life and liveliness and things happening there on that corner.”

Then there’s Retro Downtown Cafe. Owner Kristi Tift told KSLA News 12 they are preparing to open soon.

Their first location is Retro 521 in Bossier City. Success there has led to this expansion.

In fact, Tift said, they’re amid the hiring process right now.

And she told KSLA News 12 how anticipation is building at this second location.

“Every time that we come to work on the space.”

Just two weeks ago came the groundbreaking for a major renovation, transforming the former Arlington Hotel into a distillery, speakeasy, French restaurant and more.

When it comes to a business succeeding in downtown Shreveport, Swaine said, one of the big factors is the number of people living downtown.

Ultimately, she said, the goal would be to have as many as 2,000 residents there. Right now, that figure stands at 800 but is growing.

Swaine pointed to one example in particular, the recent grand opening and open house for The Standard at 509 Market.

“That’s bringing new apartments downtown. We have other businesses that are looking at potentially, other property owners, that are looking at potentially doing some apartments, as well.”

More announcements about downtown development are expected, including several involving buildings that are in the process of being sold, Swaine said.

But she cannot say more until those deals become official.

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