Redeveloped Lake St. businesses see success in first year

A group of businesses that redeveloped an entire city block in downtown Shreveport are about to...
A group of businesses that redeveloped an entire city block in downtown Shreveport are about to reach their first anniversary.
Published: Jul. 15, 2015 at 2:08 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A group of businesses that redeveloped an entire city block on Lake Street in downtown Shreveport is about to reach their first anniversary.

Now, they hope their success will bring even more traffic to the area. "We are trying to create a scene here," said iArchitecture business owner Jeff Spikes.

The businesses range from a granola manufacturer to an art shop and design and architecture firms.

Katy Larson is the owner of art shop Agora Borealis. "I'm thankful people can see the vision we are trying to craft here," she said.

The businesses are proud to say after tucking a year under their belt, they are still thriving. Jason Cram owns Vintage Design Group. "We've been growing ever since we've moved on Lake Street," he said.

The business owners hope their successes will be an inspiration for others. "We did develop an entire block and we are still here. We would like for more of this to happen in downtown," said Spikes.

With plenty of vacant buildings in the area, Cram hopes to have new neighbors in the future. "We'd love to see some of the interest that is down on the Texas Street corridor find its way over here on Lake Street," he said.

While they've had a successful year, not everything has gone 100% smoothly. In November, the Shreveport City Council voted to close a portion of Lake Street indefinitely, in order to make the train crossing adjacent to the Holiday Inn, a no-blow zone for trains. The closure cut off access from Clyde Fant Parkway to the Lake Street businesses.

The business owners initially worried the closure would hurt them, but have since realized otherwise. "To be really honest, it didn't really affect us as much as I expected it to," said Larsen.

"It has affected the convenience factor of clients getting to us, but nobody has actively complained about it honestly," said Spikes.

Now the group is looking forward to growing their businesses. "The skies the limit as far as I'm concerned, you are either growing or dying," said Spikes.

To celebrate their first year in business, the Lake Street business owners are throwing a block party July 24th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and everyone is invited. There will be music, art and food. Click here for more information.

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