Louisiana to buy downtown Shreveport office building

2022-06-22 16:52:03 By : Mr. Wayne Wang

After sitting vacant for a while, a downtown Shreveport building is getting a new lease on life. 

500 Fannin Street commonly known as the Waggoner Building is set to be purchased by the state of Louisiana, Wednesday. This building will replace the aging Mary Allen State Office Building on Fairfield Avenue.

"We are pleased that we're gonna be able to move forward with this. The building that we're in right now we have had to pour a lot of money into it just to maintain it and the employees of Shreveport deserve a much better facility within which to work," Jay Dardenne, Commissioner of Administration for the State of Louisiana said. 

The purchase is just the start of this project said Jacques Berry, Director of Policy and Communication for the state of Louisiana. 

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Once owned by the state they will have to remodel the more than 150,000 square foot building. The process is expected to take several years.

Dardenne said that state employees will continue to work in the existing Mary Allen State Office Building until the Waggoner project is completed. 

The renovation involves gutting the building down to the concrete foundation and steel frame, and will result in a modern, state-of-the-art office space spanning across the eight floors.

This newly renovated building is intended to consolidate many Shreveport-area state employees. The current Mary Allen State Office Building houses 358 employees working for 10 state agencies.

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Through this project, the 358 employees will move to the Waggoner location, along with the potential to add other state agencies currently paying commercial lease rates. 

The state, through its capital financing and acquisition arm known, as the Office Facilities Corporation, is buying the Waggoner Building for $1.75 million, the initial listing price was $2,995,000. 

"It's obviously considerably less than the original asking price and we think it's a fair price and particularly given the benefit of retaining the steel structure," Dardenne said. 

Makenzie Boucher is a reporter with the Shreveport Times. Contact her at mboucher@gannett.com.