SW La. economic landscape changing daily

By By Rita LeBleu / American Press

Everyone knows that new commercial and

residential developments are popping up all over Southwest Louisiana.

One area of obvious

growth is Nelson Road. Within less than a half-mile around the

1700 block, steel girders are up and general contractors are

working on the next stage of a large commercial building. Right

down a side street on Wolf Circle, a new brick office building

is almost complete and in a large vacant area a “coming soon” sign

promises a new pizza place. Further down Nelson Road, a

two-story home is coming down and a new fast food and ice cream

chain will take its place.

It’s just a microcosm of the change to come. Here’s what the American Press found out about a few of these locations:

Within the 3700 block of Nelson Road,

the large building going up on the east side of the street will be the

new home of Scarborough’s

Salon and Day Spa. This retail space, named “Plaza 1” is the work

of Jeff Scarborough’s Shiloh Commercial Properties, LLC.

Scarborough’s Salon and Day Spa will be relocating its Ryan Street operation where its been since 1992, leaving that space

up for grabs.

“The building will be contemporary in

design and feature RGB LED (red, green, blue; light emitting diode)

lights that will

allow Scarborough to control the tone and color display,”

Scarborough said. The first phase of the project will be 13,000

square feet of retail and service space. Scarborough’s Salon and

Day Spa will take up 5,600 square feet of that space. Parking

will be easy and ample — with 92 spaces — which Scarborough said

is an often-overlooked feature.

Scarborough said that he is in the initial stage of interviewing possible tenants. The second phase of the project will offer

a second site with 7,000 square feet of space, according to Scarborough.

Miller and Associates is the general contractor. Merchants and Farmers Bank is providing financing.

On Wolf Circle, a development off

Nelson Road, there’s a new brick medical office building nearing

completion that’s about

3,500 square feet. Michael Hankins, who helped coordinate the work

of the architect and contractor for the project, and is

overseeing the construction, said that it will be the office of

Edyee Sturgill. Sturgill is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

S.I.T.I., LLC is the general contractor.

Not far down the road there’s a “coming soon, Johnny’s Pizza House” sign. JPH Franchising Representative Dennis Willis said

that the owners hope to break ground on the eatery this summer.

At 3921 Nelson Rd., a two-story house will come down and make room for a Dairy Queen “Grill and Chill” according to franchise

owner Heath Doucet.

Doucet said that he’s waiting on final variance approval that will help the traffic flow in and out of the location. The general

contractor has not been selected but will most likely be a group that’s experienced at putting up the newly designed Dairy

Queens, he said.

He also said that the time is right for the enterprise with the expected economic growth from new industry and the location

is ideal — near at least three schools which helps boost midday traffic to the eatery.