Joining the ‘Club’

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Sam’s Club store location shows growth of north Bossier

Business is still booming in north Bossier.

Ground work for the new Sam’s Club is underway on the parcel next to Academy Sports + Outdoors for what will become Bossier’s latest super store. Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., is the nation’s eighth largest retailer and a leading membership warehouse club offering what company officials call “superior products and services.”

Located just off I-220 on Beene Boulevard, the new Sam’s Club site will measure approximately 136,000 square feet and feature a variety of members-only amenities, including a Fresh Bakery, a Tire and Battery Center, a Café and a Fuel Station. It will also house the Sam’s Club Pharmacy, open to both members and the public, and debut a new Hearing Aid Center, offering premium technology in hearing aids and personal listening devices available from a certified audiologist.

Stirling Properties, developer and property manager of Stirling Bossier Shopping Center in Bossier, made their official announcement earlier this year before breaking ground today. Sam Marsiglia, Executive Director of the Bossier City Metropolitan Planning Commission, said the store’s location is a prime spot for area and regional shoppers.

“Part of the reason why that location was picked is because it’s a high growth area,” Marsiglia said. “Land in the north Bossier area is very desirable because of that. The extra traffic does come along with it, but the Airline Drive and Benton Road corridors are heavy travel spots in the parish.”

Local residents responded to the topic on the Bossier Press-Tribune’s Facebook page, where there are mixed reactions about the store’s opening.

Lisa Thompson said she is “excited about it coming to North Bossier, but the traffic it will bring will be horrible!”

“Would be wonderful if that “alley” between Asbury & the shopping center could be extended to Swan Lake Road or somehow get traffic routed to I-220 to have an alternate outlet that doesn’t involve Airline Drive,” Thompson said.

The extra traffic, however, won’t be keeping everyone away.

Bossier resident Margie Ann Johnson said, “we won’t have to go all the way to Youree Drive and it will bring more shoppers to Bossier City!”

When the store does finally open, it will cut out the need for some area residents to make the drive across the Red River to do their shopping.

“The new Bossier City Sam’s Club will allow us to expand our service in a region of Louisiana we have served since 1986 through our Shreveport Club,” said John Bernheim, the local market manager for Sam’s Club in northern Louisiana. “We are pleased to grow east of the Red River, an area that has seen exceptional growth during the past few years.”

Melissa Langley said she is “beyond excited” about the store.

“It saves us a trip from north Bossier to east Shreveport! We love Sam’s and we think it’s a great addition to the area! Can’t wait for the opening!!!!!”

Allison Roden-Rice agreed, “I absolutely hate getting on Youree Drive. [I] will actually keep my membership up now.”

The new Sam’s Club will be the first in Bossier Parish and only the 15th in Louisiana, the closest currently located in southeast Shreveport. An opening date has been scheduled for the summer of 2014, according to Stirling Properties.

However, Bossier Parish residents could potentially see more growth in that area. Donna Taylor, Senior Vice President of Asset Management and New Business Development for Stirling Properties, said there will be a 3-acre space left open for future development.

Marsiglia said the success of the site will depend on the amount of interest shown by local residents.

“We’ve been down the past couple of years, but 2014 is looking good if everything we’re hearing about comes through,” Marsiglia said. “The more people shop in that area, the more potential we have for other companies to come in and build new stores. This could be the project that start’s it all off.”