DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - More retailers are looking at the west side of Livingston Parish as a hot spot for business. Another 360,000 square feet of shopping space is in the works and the mayor says the city is positioned to sell.
Cavendar's Western Wear will be the first store on a 16-acre tract of land to open for business by the end of this year. Construction on the store, located across from the Bass Pro, started in July 2013. While it marks another place for people in Livingston Parish to shop, money-wise it will add nothing to the city it's located in. That's because the land where the store sits, belongs to Livingston Parish and not the City of Denham Springs.
Just down the road is where Denham should see dollar signs, at the new Springs at Riverside Landing Economic Development District.
It's the wooded area located behind the Backyard Burger, on Range Avenue.
"We're going to remove all the timber in here, so people can actually see as they drive," Durbin said. Doing so, he says, will promote business and allow potential stores to see just how big the 33-acre area is.
Included in the development are plans for more retail, restaurants and a grocery store.
Durbin said the space will add 360,000 square feet of lease space. That, he says, is more than the Bass Pro and Sam's Club combined. Together, those two stores have 320,000 square feet.
"It seems like large money is focused on investing in Livingston Parish, particularly on this west side. The City of Denham Springs has positioned itself, with infrastructure and with the popularity of Bass Pro and Sam's," said Durbin.
Several developers have shown an interest in Denham Springs. Durbin says people have been through scouting locations, looking at interstate access and taking notice of all the activity going on. He stressed had it not been for one particular store, none of the other businesses would have come.
"I was talking with some friends at lunch ... What was the single most turn around for the City of Denham Springs with economic development? It was Bass Pro," said Durbin.
Even though Durbin has roughly a year left as the leader of the city, he has hopes of bringing more business to city. This time duplicating the success across the interstate, near the Best Western, with another five acres.