HB 773 would transfer ownership of the Mary Allen State Office building to the city.
The bill which was sponsored by Rep. Cedric Glover has the full support of Councilwoman LeVette Fuller, Downtown Development Authority Director Liz Swaine, Highland Neighborhood President Madison Poche and Shreveport Implementation and Redevelopment Authority (SIRA) Board Chairman Tom Arceneaux.
“In our opinion, this is good for all sides,” Councilwoman Fuller said. “We strongly support HB 773 and encourage state senators to support it on behalf of Highland and the City of Shreveport.”
HB 773, which will be presented to the Senate Natural Resources Committee Thursday, would give the city and the Highland neighborhood where the building is located more input into who buys it and what they do with it.
This is not the first time a state-to-city property transfer such as this has taken place.
Under the bill, the State will transfer the property to SIRA in exchange for “consideration proportionate to the appraised value of the property, or as otherwise provided by law.”
The transfer may not happen for several years and developers often need to plan months in advance of significant projects. The bill also allows SIRA and developers access to the building to begin planning or other design work so long as that work does not interfere with employees in the building.
“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.”