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|Norris has vision for historic property|
West Monroe officials are developing a concept on what to do with property in West Monroe's historic downtown district.
The city bought the property from Steve Hall, a local builder.
One of the last empty lots in the downtown district was recently purchased by the city for $160,000. It was valued from $160,000-$170,000.
"This was the last piece of property that had river access in the downtown area, and we bought it so the city could put something down there," Mayor Dave Norris said. "We've got a local architect who's volunteered to develop a concept and help us get an idea of what we'd like to do with it."
"We'll also talk to the downtown merchants to see what they think would be beneficial to them," Norris added.
Norris previously said he envisioned using the property as a public space, such as a park or boardwalk.
Norris said the number of people living in the downtown area has increased recently. The number of apartments in downtown should grow by another 100 units in the next year or so.
Hall's construction firm, Arco Builders, is involved in several projects in West Monroe's downtown area to help bring in more residents and spur more activity there.
Hall's biggest project currently in West Monroe's historic downtown is the remodeling of the old oil mill at Pine and Trenton streets. Arco Builders is converting the historic building into upscale apartments.
Hall previously told The Ouachita Citizen that he envisions a revitalized downtown with more people living in the area.
More residents living in downtown West Monroe would encourage more merchants and restaurants to conduct business in the area, he said.
Hall expects efforts by city leaders, Arco Builders and others will help make downtown West Monroe a high traffic area, similar to how it once was decades ago.