South Bossier to get a makeover

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Planning underway for redevelopment plan of southern portion of Bossier City

Story by Marty Carlson

Recently, north and east Bossier City have made major economic development announcements and now there is good news for south Bossier.

In an effort to redevelop some of the “old” in the city, the “South Bossier Redevelopment Plan” was recently initiated.

As part of the settlement of the U.L. Coleman lawsuit against Bossier City over a curb cut on the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway, a consent decree required a redevelopment plan for the older sections of South Bossier. That degree also included a new park adjacent to CenturyLink Arena and a pedestrian bridge over Arthur Ray Teague Parkway to the parkway trail.

Last Monday, the South Bossier City Citizens Assembly (SBCCA) board members were introduced to the concepts and invited to provide input for the plan.

Bossier City Special Projects Coordinator Pam Glorioso, and local noted architect Mike McSwain, consultant and project manager for the plan, met with SBCCA members to outline the planning process and timeline.

The plan boundaries are the riverfront to Barksdale AFB to the Jimmie Davis Bridge, which incorporate the oldest subdivisions/neighborhoods in the south Bossier area and an area that’s experiencing varying degrees of transition.

McSwain discussed that the public (city) – private (residents) endeavor “ …is only as good as we all make it … that means we have to come out to public meetings and participate.”

“This is a study to look at what the public can do to better the area and ways to implement (the improvements),” said McSwain. “Think streets, streetscapes, parks.”

He explained that this process looks at long-term planning for the district in increments over time with funding that the city can provide. It includes consideration of long-term overall land uses, such as what to put next to the new sewer treatment plant, along with long-term aspects of traffic circulation.

And, importantly, McSwain encouraged meeting participants to “think big,” but cautioned “… house standards are really not part of this (plan) …”

According to Glorioso, the process should span the next four to five months and the south Bossier neighborhood group would play an integral role with the planners. The city has engaged Houston firm SWA to work with local participants to develop the south Bossier plan.

After the meeting, Glorioso added some thoughts for interested south Bossier residents. “We’re looking at existing land uses – commercial, recreational, residential – and how some might be reprogrammed … Tell us what you’d like to see planned in the future, long-range. What would you like to see the neighborhood become? Be visionary – don’t just look at the crack in the sidewalk – but the new facility that might bring in new residents and homeowners.”

The process described by Glorioso and McSwain is similar to the path to developing the city/parish master plan – the consistent use of which has greatly improved recent development in Bossier City and in the parish.

A redevelopment plan for south Bossier – if implemented and followed – could be equally successful in rejuvenating an older section of Bossier.

Both Glorioso and McSwain encouraged Monday night’s meeting participants to bring lots of ideas to the table at future planning meetings – and SBCCA will host a spring meeting with an open invitation to all south Bossier stakeholders interested in helping shape the area’s future.