Window work at Lee Hardware Apartments.

The worker bees are swarming at the Lee Hardware apartments at 719 Edwards. Owner HRI of New Orleans is investing close to $8m to rehab the Lee Hardware and United Jewelers at 301 Crockett St. Construction crews are changing out lighting to modern LED, fitting out full size washers and dryers in each unit, adding much-needed sound-deadening insulation, making window repairs, painting and other improvements. They expect work at Lee Hardware to be finished by January of 2022. Tenants of United Jewelers will then be moved to Lee Hardware while the United Jeweler building is upgraded. The total project should be completed by mid-to-late 2022.

Throwing out lots of trash at the former Standard Brand Shoes, 634 Milam St.

Cleanout has begun at 634 Milam Street. The building, the original pharmacy owned by Abe and Julian Saenger, has been vacant; caught in a tangled web of tax issues for more than a decade. When the tax liabilities were cleared, the building sold to partners who have are thrilled to own such an important piece of downtown history, but who aren’t quite ready to share their plans yet. We’ve been told some of the things that they are considering, and all are a vast improvement to what it is now.

Opening up the transom windows, 429 Crockett Street.

Architect Jason Cram and his crew continue to unearth history at buildings in the 400 block of Crockett.  Over the years, the 2-story at 429 Crockett and the one-story at 427 Crockett were rendered ugly by a variety of unfortunate design decisions.

A sad exterior look that will be changing! 427-429 Crockett Street.

Cram and his partner in the project are trying to right some of those wrongs, and have exposed a 1930s era neon sign, the 2-story building’s original transom windows and cast iron columns that were a surprise to all. Cram is working with the State Historic Preservation Office to determine which architectural elements he can keep and which will again have to be hidden.

Hidden cast iron column at 429 Crockett Street.

Plans are for the one-story to become a restaurant with hopes that it will be open for business the first part of 2022. The 2-story will house the ‘Center City Flats’ apartments on the second floor and commercial/retail space below.

Work has started again on the Uneeda Biscuit building at 711 Milam Street. The Uneeda Biscuit Lofts, which will house 34 apartments, will tentatively open in early 2023.

The tentative opening for Phase I of the Bayou Grande apartments at Caddo and Common Streets, is scheduled for November, with Phase II following in the second quarter of 2022. The apartments, which will feature market rate, affordable housing and low income options, is part of the City of Shreveport’s $24+m Choice Neighborhoods project. Applications for apartments are being accepted now.

700 Texas Street, the former Tipitina’s Music Co-op now called ‘Cooper’s Corner’ is leasing space that they will  build to suit.

Spaces from 500 to 5000 feet are available. Plans are for the renovated space to open in 2022.