John Settle.jpg

John came to Shreveport in January of 1977 when he was transferred to Barksdale AFB.

He’s been active in Shreveport politics since deciding to make Shreveport his home.

John practiced law for 40 years and he now monitors local politics. He regularly attends Shreveport City Council and Caddo Parish Commission meetings.

John is published weekly in The Inquisitor, bi-monthly in The Forum News, and frequently in the Shreveport Times.

He enjoys addressing civic groups on local government issues and elections.

 

WANT TO BUY A BIG TENT DOWNTOWN?

Well…now is your chance!

It comes with a one acre corner lot on Crockett Street that spans from Marshall to Edwards Street. And it has a 5,000 square foot brick building ideal for offices. 

The 25,000 square foot canopy over the building can be removed. The structural steel for the canopy can be used to build a eight story parking garage. 

It could be all yours for a minimum bid of $1,020,000.

The long-heralded Shreveport Intermodal Facility on Murphy Street across from the Shreveport City Court building will finally be opened sometime between now and year end. This facility will become the primary Sportran hub as well as the Greyhound Bus depot.

Soooo…what happens with the tent?

Well, it depends on the sealed bids.

The Tent was originally acquired with $7 million grant from the Federal Transit Authority (FTA). The grant had specific requirements for use of the facility.

If the property is no longer needed for public transportation purposes and it remains in the City’s inventory, the City must reimburse the FTA eighty per cent of the land value, including depreciation.

If the City sells the property, it may use eighty percent of the sales price for the purchase of additional busses.

If the property is not sold, the City can avoid paying the feds any money if Sportran continues to use the tent as a bus terminal for at least 50 % of its bus traffic. In the alternative, the tent could be converted into a maintenance facility.

The bids are due on October 31, 2017.

Needless to say downtown advocates are very concerned over the future use of this large parcel which is just a short city block from the courhouse. And so is Sportran, which does not want to have any further use of the downtown facility. 

Liz Swaine, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority is hopeful that a private investor will purchase the tent. “The SporTran Terminal on Crockett Street downtown has become iconic…everyone now recognizes that tented structure. Though it was built very mission-specific, to be a bus terminal, there are other things it could become. The infrastructure is there for a Food Truck Terminal protected from the weather, with bathrooms and a place for a permanent restaurant/bar. It could also be an arts market, a year-round food co-op. My favorite idea is to repurpose some SporTran buses into small office and retail spaces and have them parked there for rent to businesses. This could truly become something remarkable.”

“We hope to be able to work with the city on repositioning the terminal into something wonderful, unique and useful. There are a number of ideas floating around that would make that facility something that would draw people into downtown.”

“We have one of the architecturally coolest bus terminals in the country. Our job now is to find a use that is as fun and unique as the facility itself.”

Please share all or part of this column with others. No requirement to list my name. 

CONCERNED ABOUT HOMELESS/TRANSIENT IN DOWNTOWN SHREVEPORT?

MPIC WORK SESSION AT CHIANTI'S...ALL IS WELL IN LALALAND