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Legislation would give Highland a say in who takes over building now occupied by the state

Louisiana HB 773 set to be heard May 26 by the Senate Natural Resources Committee
Legislation set to be heard May 26, 2022, by the Louisiana Senate Natural Resources Committee...
Legislation set to be heard May 26, 2022, by the Louisiana Senate Natural Resources Committee could help determine what becomes of the state office building on Fairfield Avenue in Shreveport if its tenants were to relocate to downtown Shreveport.(Source: Scott Pace/KSLA News 12)
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:33 PM CDT|Updated: May. 25, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Louisiana state offices now housed a building near downtown Shreveport might, at some point, move downtown.

So now there’s legislation pending to help ensure the future of the existing state office building on Fairfield Avenue if that should happen.

“This is a wonderful bill because it helps the city and it especially helps the (Shreveport) neighborhood of Highland, which is where the current state building is.”

Liz Swaine, of Shreveport’s Downtown Development Authority, is talking about Louisiana House Bill 773. The proposal is scheduled to be heard Thursday, May 26 by the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

If given final legislative approval, state Rep. Cedric Glover’s HB 773 would transfer the Mary Allen state office building on Fairfield Avenue to the Shreveport Implementation and Redevelopment Authority. The state offices would move to a building downtown.

“It’s kind of a two-phase thing,” Swaine explained.

“So the first phase, the state building would be moving into downtown Shreveport. That is going to make that building on Fairfield (Avenue) vacant.

“Phase II is what do we do about that building on Fairfield. And so that is what (HB) 773 is taking a look at.”

City leaders say the legislation would allow the Highland neighborhood to have a say on the eventual buyer and usage of the building should it become vacant.

“Transferring it through the Redevelopment Authority, we’ll be able to have a transparent RFP process,” District B Councilwoman LeVette Fuller said. “So the neighborhood can have some buy-in and influence over the situation and determination of who gets the property.”

She too explained the benefits of the bill.

“Moving the state offices downtown generates traffic into the downtown area, where we need to see that revitalization right now,” Fuller said. “It just makes more sense if need need this building to be revitalized in a way that’s beyond the capacity of government when we have empty spaces downtown that could be revitalized at a reasonable, economically responsible way, then this is just a really good win win for the entire community.”

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