For years, the Rubenstein’s Department Store in the center of downtown’s business district was the place people went for clothing, shoes, and a variety of household items. The so-called ‘Shopping Center of the Ark-La-Tex’ had a remarkable 60-year run at the Milam Street location, from 1927 to its closing in 1987. For the more than 30 years since then, the space has been vacant, used mainly for storage.
In 2019, the Rubenstein buildings were donated to the Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation (DSDC), a non-profit that works to improve and develop Shreveport’s urban core. DSDC has a history of either directly repurposing buildings (416 Cotton Street, 708 Texas Street, 617 Texas Street, 221 Texas Street, and others) or working with partners to bring vacant downtown buildings back to life.
“The two buildings that make up the former Rubenstein Department Store are in rough shape and need a lot of love,” says Liz Swaine, DSDC’s Executive Director, “But even though they are challenged, they have amazing potential to bring new live to this important part of the Central Business District.”
Because of the challenges, DSDC knew the project needed a developer with the vision, the background and skills necessary to turn a good plan into a great reality. Tuesday, you will be able to meet that developer and hear what he plans to do with these historic spaces.
On Tuesday, June 21 at 9:30 AM at 517-519 Milam Street, join Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, City Council District B Representative LeVette Fuller, and the DSDC as we introduce the Rubenstein’s new owner and hear his plans for converting this 20th Century department store into a 21st Century use.
Parking for the event will be available in the 500 block of Milam Street and Crockett Street and the 600 block of McNeil Street.