SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Development in downtown Shreveport is underway in an effort to make the area more enticing.

“We’re going to be opening the Uneeda Lofts residential units here in the not-too-distant future,” said Liz Swaine, Executive Director of Downtown Development Authority. “Maybe the next few weeks. We’ve got a new restaurant that’s going to be opening soon, The Glass Hat.”

Local artists are featured throughout downtown Shreveport showcasing their pieces.

“Downtown Shreveport probably has the most foot traffic of anywhere in Shreveport,” said James Marks, a local artist. “And if you’re going to do good street art you really want to rely upon people who are going to take the time to stop and look at what you’re doing.”

A new program, Art in Unexpected Places, gives artists the opportunity to discreetly display their work.

“You can run into unexpected art on the sidewalk, things you never thought you would see,” Swaine said. “And suddenly, you’re faced with a wire sculpture or a crocheted greeting to downtown.”

The Downtown Development Authority is working to put all vacant buildings to use, even those that are harder to acquire.

“We do have some owners who have decided not to renovate their buildings, but they don’t also want to sell their buildings, and so that creates a real issue for us,” Swaine said.

To address the parking issues, especially for downtown residents, suggestions have been made.

“So we’re talking with the city right now on, we take one of these flat surface lots and make it into a parking garage, that will open up about a million square feet of office space to something else,” Swaine said.