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Portion of Shreveport shopping center to close

Businesses south of Kroger on Youree Drive to close due to unstable foundation.
On the corner of East 70th Street and Youree Drive one of Shreveport's most heavily traveled corridors passes in front of the Bayou Walk Shopping Center. It is prime commercial real estate but many of the businesses will soon have to close their doors because of structural concerns.

Tenants say they have known the foundation was unstable since 2000. At Cactus Trading Co., owner Julie Cope says walls, windows and floors are either cracking or shifting. Engineers documented the issue in November but tenants of the shopping center's south side said they never heard anything back until an email from New York based Kimco Realty Company called them to a meeting on March 19th. At the meeting owners were told that because of safety concerns they would have to vacate by March 31st.

"It's all of our busiest season and we feel like with the short notice we've just yanked away business," says Cope.

A statement from Kimco Realty Corp to NBC 6 states: "Due to a ground settling issue under the retail space in the southwest corner of Bayou Walk Shopping Center, the decision has been made to vacate and demolish these premises as soon as practicable to ensure the safety of our tenants and customers. We sincerely regret the disruption this will have on the retailers directly affected, and have offered to assist them in securing comparable locations in the immediate vicinity. There are no current plans to rebuild on the area in question. The remaining portion of the shopping center is expected to continue to operate normally."

"It's devastating and people have been having trouble finding the right property, just this has been a great location for everybody," says Cope.

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