State Office Building in Shreveport could be transferred to a redevelopment authority.

As part of the plan to relocate state government offices to downtown Shreveport, the state is planning to transfer the historic Mary Allen State Office building to the Shreveport Implementation and Redevelopment Authority (SIRA). This measure is expected to be voted on this week.

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What Does the Bill Do?

HB 773 puts the building under the authority of SIRA which has guidelines for protecting historic buildings. This group will also have input on how the building is used in the future and will also have to give the ok for the sale of the property.

This measure is sponsored by State Reps Cedric Glover and Sam Jenkins.

Shreveport Councilwoman LeVette Fuller, who represents the Highland Neighborhood says:

While this is not the first time a state-to-city property transfer such as this has taken place, putting the facility into SIRA gives Highland and the city more options in seeking out a potential developer, and more input over the building’s eventual use.

Fuller adds “in our opinion, this is good for all sides. We strongly support HB 773 and encourage state senators to support it on behalf of Highland and the City of Shreveport.”

This transfer of the building to SIRA has the support of the Shreveport City Council, the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation, and the Highland Restoration Association.

What Does the State Get for the Transfer?

Louisiana will be entitled to “consideration proportionate of the appraised value of the property.” The transfer to a new owner might not happen for many years. But during this process, SIRA will have access to the building to begin showing it to developers who have ideas for restoring and maintaining the building at the corner of Jordan and Fairfield.

“This bill is a smart way to allow the neighborhood and community that will be most affected by the change in ownership to play the biggest role in it,” says Downtown Development Authority Director Liz Swaine. “It may be something that other towns and cities will look to replicate.”

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