Low and behold—the City of Shreveport WILL be able to sell the downtown bus terminal, commonly known as The Tent!
With the opening of the long delayed Intermodal Terminal on Wednesday , The Tent has become obsolete in the sense of its intended purpose. The Intermodal Terminal will serve as the new major hub for SporTran and other over the road bus services.
The Tent was constructed with federal dollars and as a result the City had only three options for its continued use.
The first was to repay the feds about $5 million, and do whatever they wanted to do with the acre lot between Marshall and Edwards fronting on Crockett Street.
The second option was to sell land, terminal building and its iconic tent as per a mandated formula.
If either of these options was not accomplished, Sportran was required to continue to use the facility and route substantial bus traffic through the facility. This option would , in effect, defeat one of the primary purposes of the Intermodal Terminal which is to reduce substantially downtown bus traffic.
The minimum bid for The Tent was $1,020,000. The bid deadline was October 31.
Marshall Towers, LLC bid $1,225,000. This Monroe based company, owned by Joseph Hakim, has substantial real estate holdings in proximity to The Tent. The sale should be completed within 30 days.
These include the Lane Building on the corner of Milam and Marshall, which is open with offices and retail on Milam. This property includes a parking lot behind the building on the corner of Marshall and Crockett.
Hakim also owns the Johnson Building on Milam which has been empty for many years. He also owns the old Panos Diner building in that same block.
Another holding by Hakim is the Slattery Building on the corner of Texas Street and Marshall. Except for the ground floor this gothic architectural 17 story building has been empty for many years.
Hakim also owns a 2 story parking garage on Crockett.
To say that Hakim is a major investor in downtown Shreveport is an understatement.
His plans for The Tent are not yet known.
His progress on the Slattery and Johnson Buildings since purchasing them in 2010 has been major maintenance only.
But the good news is that The Tent will be sold. And to top it off, SporTran can keep 80% of the sale price for additional buses. That’s almost a million bucks that will be saved by the City of Shreveport subsidizes Sportran operations.
And more good news is that The Tent will now be on the tax rolls!
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