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Historical downtown building renovated, will house long-time barber shop
Longtime business Shreve Towne Barber Shop has a new home in a historical, renovated building downtown.
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514 Crockett Street will now house Shreve Towne Barber Shop and other businesses.
Patty Remedies has been cutting hair at various locations in downtown Shreveport for 34 years.
So when her son, Ronnie Remedies, approached her with the idea of buying her own building to house Shreve Towne Barber Shop, there was no other part of the city where she wanted to be.
“I never wanted to leave the zip code here,” she said. “This is what I built my business on.”
Patty Remedies partnered with Ronnie to purchase and renovate 514 Crockett St., a building at least 80 years old situated next to the former SporTran terminal in downtown Shreveport.
Now moved in and officially open in the new location, Remedies said she is thrilled at the transformation the old building has undergone.
“We’re dreamers, and I had the dream and he had the vision,” she said. “Together we made this happen, and I’m just real excited about it. To breathe life into this building is just amazing.”
The building at 514 Crockett St. was constructed sometime around the 1930s and has survived into the 21st Century, whereas many other former structures around it did not.
From the front façade, the 6,000-square-foot building looks like one structure, but it is actually two, separated by a dividing wall.
A brick wall inside, formerly concealed by wood paneling, revealed an advertisement mural trumpeting a long-gone store’s sale of abdominal supports and surgical corsets.
Once owned by the Communication Workers of America representing employees of AT&T, the facility was the site of regular union meetings for hundreds of members downtown.
The organization’s needs began to change over the years and, more recently, half of the building was being used to house just one worker and sporadic meetings, said Liz Swaine, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority. The other half of the building was vacant.
“They were in a quandary — they had owned this building for a number of years, it needed a lot of repairs, it was dingy and very 1970s,” Swaine said. “Ronnie will take a building and before you know it, boom — that building is vibrant and wonderful and looks great, and that’s what you need downtown.”
Ronnie Remedies, who also owns downtown properties including 1200 Marshall St. and 1122 Marshall St., said he liked Crockett Street for his mother’s business better than her last location on Spring Street. He estimated that 60 to 80 percent of his mother’s clientele walks to her barber shop.
“To get across Spring Street, the traffic is moving so fast and it was dangerous,” he said. “It wasn’t really the best place for her.”
After closing on the sale this past fall, Remedies got to work on repairing the building’s roof and completely renovating the outside façade and interior.
Ultimately, improving a downtown building is not just about what he can get out of the investment, Remedies said.
“I’ve lived here my whole life and there’s no doubt, I think my record shows I love my hometown, I like to reinvest here,” he said. “It’s not just about property that I own, but it’s about making it a better place to attract new people. The synergy builds when we get new people downtown.”
Goosehead Insurance also will move into the building, and there’s room for more tenants as well.
Active businesses being in that building will only help contribute to the hustle and bustle needed downtown, Swaine said.
“They’re generating foot traffic, interest and vibrancy, bringing people to this building, which makes (customers) look at other buildings,” she said. “People come down here and have their hair cut, and they decide to go to Rhino Coffee, Robinson Film Center, Abby Singer’s. The more people we get downtown, the better off we are.”
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