Business and economic growth are booming throughout Northeast Louisiana. Signs of business expansion and community development demonstrate that great things are happening in Northeast Louisiana, where you can “Find Your Opportunity!”
In Monroe, the growth of the information technology sector, anchored by CenturyLink and IBM, has rippled across Northeast Louisiana’s economy, fueling a residential, commercial and retail boom. Century Village, an 88-acre mixed use development, will feature retail, commercial and residential opportunities along the same lines as the high-end Village of River Ranch in Lafayette, LA. Located across from CenturyLink’s corporate campus on U.S. 165, Century Village will be anchored by IBM. Read more about new developments>>>
Vantage Health Plan will open the newly restored State Office Building in downtown Monroe later this Fall. The multi-million dollar renovation project will restore what was once the grand Virginia Hotel to its former glory. The building will support Vantage Health Plan offices on the third, fourth and fifth floors and on the mezzanine. The bottom floor will feature a restaurant and grocery store, and the rooftop will be rented out for events. Read more about Virginia Hotel Restoration.
The City of Monroe is also working to improve the area’s quality of life and enhance economic development. This week, the City cut the ribbon on a $1.2 million lighting project along Interstate 20. It has also acquired the last piece of land to move ahead with developing the U.S. 165 South Business Connector with the goal of creating a beautiful boulevard all the way to the Louisiana Purchase Garden & Zoo.
In Lincoln Parish, the City of Ruston is set to undertake its master plan development after voters approved in April a 20-year, three-fourth percent sales tax expected to generate $4,250,000 annually. The comprehensive master plan, called Ruston Re-Imagined, provides the road map for infrastructure development and investments, including transportation improvements, enhanced economic development initiatives, and quality of life projects.
Union Parish and the Town of Farmerville have launched $60 million worth of business and economic development projects. A mixed-use, private development at Folley Beach along Lake D’Arbonne will feature new marinas, a hotel, and residential and retail construction. New schools in Union Parish are coming online. The new Darbonne Woods Charter School opened its doors this Fall school year and construction on the new Union Parish High School is underway.
A major downtown Farmerville Restoration program will add new sidewalks, light poles, a new water system to irrigate plants along sidewalks, and new parking lots on the west and the northeast side of the Union Parish Courthouse.
Additionally, an historic Farmerville building will soon be renovated and developed into the Union Parish Cultural District building. This exciting move compliments the new Union Museum of History and Arts located nearby.
Innovation drives economic growth in Morehouse Parish and in the City of Bastrop! The Flying Tiger Aviation School in Bastrop trains pilots on the use of drones for commercial and private uses. Owner Mo Rolfs believes drones will revolutionize several industries, especially the agriculture industry.
“For example, potato farmers could use UAS (drones) to do crop surveying and visual soil analysis. If they had potato bugs in a small area of land, they will be able to detect them and then have the UAS do a prescription drop to treat only that small area,” said Rolfs.
Similarly, a subsidiary of Kennedy Rice in Morehouse Parish is reinventing one of the most important crops in Louisiana. As one of the largest producers of rice in the U.S., the Kennedy Rice market has gone beyond the bulk domestic brand to expand into a health-conscious, organic product called KenChaux Rice. With the next generation of Kennedys at the helm, Kennedy Rice and its affiliated companies are poised to reach even greater heights. Through active involvement in rice research and the innovation of the rice business, Meryl Kennedy and her sisters are dedicated to working with local agriculture research facilities to develop new varieties that not only perform well in the field but are also naturally organic, healthy and tasty to eat.