In October 2012, the Downtown Development Authority partnered with State Fire Marshal Butch Browning, the City of Shreveport, the State of Louisiana, SWEPCO and others to unveil a commonsense process of rehabilitating historic downtown buildings. This so-called Performance Code works by bringing everyone together before the first plan is drawn and first construction dollar spent.
The partners (State Fire Marshal, City Permits & Inspections, City Fire Prevention, MPC/ZBA, State of Louisiana DOTD, SWEPCO) will provide an opportunity for aPreliminary Review to walk through a developer’s plans for his/her building. ThisPreliminary Review will give all sides the opportunity to ask questions, identify potential problems and expenses, and brainstorm ways to make safe, commmon-sense tradeoffs that will allow the historic building to return to use. After the Preliminary Review is completed, the developer/owner will have a better sense of what difficulties may be encountered and the best ways in which to deal with them. In addition, the partners will schedule a Courtesy Walkthrough of the downtown property which will also assist in identifying potential areas of concern.
The Downtown Development Authority will work to keep the lines of communication open between the developer/owner and the partners and in getting timely responses to the developer’s questions. To schedule a Preliminary Review, contact the DDA at 318-222-7403.
At the Performance Code unveiling in October, Don Zeringue, the Chief Architect at the State Fire Marshal’s Baton Rouge office, presented a PowerPoint outlining some opportunities in the rehabilitation of older buildings.