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Could Monroe experience a dramatic comeback?

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Posted (edited)

Apparently a 1425-acre site in Richland Parish, between Monroe and Rayville is ready for development, and it sounds like Toyota is in serious discussions with Governor Blanco about the possibility of building an automobile plant there.

In my opinion this would be perfect for the Monroe are and the southern automtoive corridor as a whole. With the GM plant in Arlington, the GM plant in Shreveport, and the Mercedes plant in Alabama, the I-20 corridor is a great location for another auto plant. Besides that, there are many automotive suppliers located in Shreveport which could possibly service the plant in Monroe as well.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.d...NGNEWS/61101006

With the recent loss of the enormous State Farm claims center, and the imminent loss of another 800+ jobs when the Guide automotive headlamp plant closes, Monroe's future isn't looking very bright. A deal with Toyota could be this city's saving grace. And what a shame that Toyota can't purchase their headlamps from the Guide plant in Monroe, saving yet another 800+ jobs.

Edited by SBCmetroguy

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Posted

Apparently a 1425-acre site in Richland Parish, between Monroe and Rayville is ready for development, and it sounds like Toyota is in serious discussions with Governor Blanco about the possibility of building an automobile plant there.

In my opinion this would be perfect for the Monroe are and the southern automtoive corridor as a whole. With the GM plant in Arlington, the GM plant in Shreveport, and the Mercedes plant in Alabama, the I-20 corridor is a great location for another auto plant. Besides that, there are many automotive suppliers located in Shreveport which could possibly service the plant in Monroe as well.

http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.d...NGNEWS/61101006

With the recent loss of the enormous State Farm claims center, and the imminent loss of another 800+ jobs when the Guide automotive headlamp plant closes, Monroe's future isn't looking very bright. A deal with Toyota could be this city's saving grace. And what a shame that Toyota can't purchase their headlamps from the Guide plant in Monroe, saving yet another 800+ jobs.

That would definitely be best-case scenario if Toyota came in. It would change the whole face of northeast Louisiana. I read some place where Nissan in Canton, MS draws employees from all but 2 counties in that state. Think what a Toyota would do for Louisiana parishes.

Monroe's taken hit after hit. I'm glad this site is available and that Gov. Blanco is marketing it as aggressively as she is. Even if Toyota doesn't come in, something else will and that will definitely be good news for northeast LA.

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Posted

This will be in competition with the Marion, AR site about 15 min west of downtown Memphis, a site that was runner-up for the truck factory that went to San Antonio. A company that makes parts for Toyota, Hino Motors, just opened a plant there.

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That would definitely be best-case scenario if Toyota came in. It would change the whole face of northeast Louisiana. I read some place where Nissan in Canton, MS draws employees from all but 2 counties in that state. Think what a Toyota would do for Louisiana parishes.

Monroe's taken hit after hit. I'm glad this site is available and that Gov. Blanco is marketing it as aggressively as she is. Even if Toyota doesn't come in, something else will and that will definitely be good news for northeast LA.

I forgot all about the Canton, MS plant. That plant is still within the I-20 corridor, just a bit north.

This will be in competition with the Marion, AR site about 15 min west of downtown Memphis, a site that was runner-up for the truck factory that went to San Antonio. A company that makes parts for Toyota, Hino Motors, just opened a plant there.

So Marion is in the running for the Toyota plant, too? Or am I reading your post wrong?

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Posted

This is great for Monroe, I hope it happens. What a positive rebound this would be!

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Posted

Gov. Blanco is in Japan talking with Toyota about the Franklin Farms site, per today's Baton Rouge Advocate. Something major will come to this site -- it's now in the top 10 megasites in the South.

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Gov. Blanco is in Japan talking with Toyota about the Franklin Farms site, per today's Baton Rouge Advocate. Something major will come to this site -- it's now in the top 10 megasites in the South.

One of the top 10 megasites in the south... very nice. From what I've read it appears to have ready-to-go infrastructure and is large enough to accomodate almost any industry. That is an EXCELLENT situation to be in.

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So Marion is in the running for the Toyota plant, too? Or am I reading your post wrong?

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying. They were runner-up for the Toyota truck plant that went to San Antonio and our governor went to Japan this year to try to get this plant as well as a couple of years ago to try to lure the truck plant. Hino apparently located in Marion for this reason, it's the Toyota equivalent of what Mopar is to Chrysler.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying. They were runner-up for the Toyota truck plant that went to San Antonio and our governor went to Japan this year to try to get this plant as well as a couple of years ago to try to lure the truck plant. Hino apparently located in Marion for this reason, it's the Toyota equivalent of what Mopar is to Chrysler.

They're both great sites, and they'll both wind up with something that will help the area. Regardless of who gets Toyota (and neither may get it), both governors should be commended for developing and pushing these sites.

I'll be glad for both since I have ties to both! (Marion is in Memphis MSA)

Edited by Rardy

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Posted (edited)

don't you have to be somewhere first before you "come back"?

I am just joking- I know what you mean what with all the jobs going away. Monroe is a nice town. I have been there a few times.

Edited by brresident

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don't you have to be somewhere first before you "come back"?

I am just joking- I know what you mean what with all the jobs going away. Monroe is a nice town. I have been there a few times.

:lol: I know what you mean.

But in this case, I simply mean back to having a decent economy. I was just speaking with a co-worker today and we both remembered when Monroe was going through a blitz of new store and restaurant construction, while Shreveport was still struggling to get back up on its feet. They had many national chain stores and restaurants a couple of years before we got them. They were moving in the right direction for a while, but things fell apart.

You have to remember, though, that Monroe was the birthplace of Delta Airlines and is currently the headquarters of CenturyTel, which is a Fortune 1000 company. Shreveport doesn't have a single business on the Fortune 1000 list, and it's got nearly 4x the city population of Monroe. Monroe was also the first place west of the Mississippi River to bottle Coca-Cola.

Monroe has a rich history, and obviously there is some serious leadership over there somewhere. For two enormous corporations (CenturyTel and Delta Airlines) to have begun in that city of just over 50,000 people, they must be doing something right.

FYI: I know you were joking, but the points I made above really needed to be made anyway. Many people, I'm sure, don't know that much about Monroe.

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Posted (edited)

:lol: I know what you mean.

But in this case, I simply mean back to having a decent economy. I was just speaking with a co-worker today and we both remembered when Monroe was going through a blitz of new store and restaurant construction, while Shreveport was still struggling to get back up on its feet. They had many national chain stores and restaurants a couple of years before we got them. They were moving in the right direction for a while, but things fell apart.

You have to remember, though, that Monroe was the birthplace of Delta Airlines and is currently the headquarters of CenturyTel, which is a Fortune 1000 company. Shreveport doesn't have a single business on the Fortune 1000 list, and it's got nearly 4x the city population of Monroe. Monroe was also the first place west of the Mississippi River to bottle Coca-Cola.

Monroe has a rich history, and obviously there is some serious leadership over there somewhere. For two enormous corporations (CenturyTel and Delta Airlines) to have begun in that city of just over 50,000 people, they must be doing something right.

FYI: I know you were joking, but the points I made above really needed to be made anyway. Many people, I'm sure, don't know that much about Monroe.

How big is Monroe in comparison to Thibodeaux? Thibodeaux is another really nice town.

I have always thought the terrain in North Louisiana was better rounded than in the South because there is less floodplains, more hills, and more usable land. Are there a lot of designated wetlands up there?

I have only been to Shreveport 2 or three times, and Monroe once or twice. Where is mount driskill located?

Edited by brresident

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How big is Monroe in comparison to Thibodeaux? Thibodeaux is another really nice town.

I have always thought the terrain in North Louisiana was better rounded than in the South because there is less floodplains, more hills, and more usable land. Are there a lot of designated wetlands up there?

I have only been to Shreveport 2 or three times, and Monroe once or twice. Where is mount driskill located?

I'm not sure because I've never been to Thibodaux. :lol: But Monroe has about 60,000 people and there are about 15,000 in West Monroe... so about 75,000 between the two cities. Not large by any means, but a decent size. You can get across Monroe in no time flat most times of the day.

There is a lot of usable land up this way, but there are lots of wetlands as well. There are plenty of areas of Shreveport, for example, that was completely ignored and the city grew around them. Only now are some of these areas being developed, because it's becoming feasible to spend the money and build them up. But outside of the cities there are still lots of undisturbed, GORGEOUS wetlands. I love that. But at the same time, we do have tons of open land, hills, trees, etc.

Driskill Mountain is located south of I-20, probably 45-60 minutes southeast of Shreveport.

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How big is Monroe in comparison to Thibodeaux? Thibodeaux is another really nice town.

I have always thought the terrain in North Louisiana was better rounded than in the South because there is less floodplains, more hills, and more usable land. Are there a lot of designated wetlands up there?

I have only been to Shreveport 2 or three times, and Monroe once or twice. Where is mount driskill located?

The city of Monroe is about 54,000; Thibodaux is around 18,000. Monroe MSA, though, is significantly smaller than the Houma-Thibodaux MSA.

There are wetlands and NWR's in NE LA, but not nearly like south LA. The land in east Ouachita tends to be very flat; west Ouachita looks more like west LA with rolling hills. Driskill Mtn. is in Bienville Parish, southwest of Ruston.

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The city of Monroe is about 54,000; Thibodaux is around 18,000. Monroe MSA, though, is significantly smaller than the Houma-Thibodaux MSA.

There are wetlands and NWR's in NE LA, but not nearly like south LA. The land in east Ouachita tends to be very flat; west Ouachita looks more like west LA with rolling hills. Driskill Mtn. is in Bienville Parish, southwest of Ruston.

I put Monroe at 60,000, and I don't know why. The 2005 estimate now puts Monroe at 52,000. I really hate to see the city lose that many people, and I hope they're going to outlying towns rather than out of state.

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I really hate to see the city lose that many people, and I hope they're going to outlying towns rather than out of state.

Bad news. They're not. Morehouse has been losing population for years, as has Madison, Tensas, and Franklin. The only place they might be going, and they haven't been en masse, is West Monroe. NE LA peaked out in the '60's and hasn't really boomed since. :unsure:

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Bad news. They're not. Morehouse has been losing population for years, as has Madison, Tensas, and Franklin. The only place they might be going, and they haven't been en masse, is West Monroe. NE LA peaked out in the '60's and hasn't really boomed since. :unsure:

Geez... West Monroe has its problems as well. I couldn't see people moving from Monroe to there. It's not like New Orleans to Covington, Shreveport to Bossier, or Baton Rouge to Denham Springs. It's like moving from Shreveport to Baby Shreveport. :lol:

I will say the local news media reported a few weeks ago about a few large-scale job fairs that have been put on in the Shreveport-Bossier market lately, and it seems that a LOT of people from Monroe have been over here looking for work. While I love that people come here looking for opportunity (a different story from just 15 years ago) I do hate that it would have to be at Monroe's expense. They truly can't afford to lose population.

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I've been to Monroe on a couple of occasions and the city reminds me a lot of Pine Bluff, AR. Both cities have historic downtowns and a lot of historic importance because they were the major cities in their regions (NE Louisiana and SE Arkansas). I think both cities are affected by the exodus from the Delta in both areas, where unemployment in surrounding rural counties is at the top of the nation. Cities like Tallulah and Lake Providence in Lousiana are really impoverished and losing population, as are cities in Arkansas like Dumas, Star City, and Lake Village. Both cities are kind of surviving on the service sector with medical, retail, legal and banking centers as well as moderate-sized regional universities. I think CenturyTel and the strength of ULM will ultimately help Monroe persevere but it would be nice if the downtown could be revamped, it has a ton of potential and some significant buildings, too many of which are boarded up. Perhaps someday the Delta's fate will be reversed and it will help these two cities get back on the right track.

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I've been to Monroe on a couple of occasions and the city reminds me a lot of Pine Bluff, AR. Both cities have historic downtowns and a lot of historic importance because they were the major cities in their regions (NE Louisiana and SE Arkansas). I think both cities are affected by the exodus from the Delta in both areas, where unemployment in surrounding rural counties is at the top of the nation. Cities like Tallulah and Lake Providence in Lousiana are really impoverished and losing population, as are cities in Arkansas like Dumas, Star City, and Lake Village. Both cities are kind of surviving on the service sector with medical, retail, legal and banking centers as well as moderate-sized regional universities. I think CenturyTel and the strength of ULM will ultimately help Monroe persevere but it would be nice if the downtown could be revamped, it has a ton of potential and some significant buildings, too many of which are boarded up. Perhaps someday the Delta's fate will be reversed and it will help these two cities get back on the right track.

http://www.osholdings.com/monroe.asp Am I really behind or something? I've never heard of this?

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Posted (edited)

If you're behind, then I am too! I hadn't seen this either.

Something in Monroe built by O&S Holdings would be in direct competition with Louisiana Boardwalk, as quite a few people from Monroe come to the Boardwalk to shop often. O&S did a great job with the Boardwalk and it looks like with this and the Lafayette project, they're trying to enter Louisiana pretty bad.

Edited by SBCmetroguy

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http://www.osholdings.com/monroe.asp Am I really behind or something? I've never heard of this?

Never heard of it either. I didn't see any projected square footage or anything... While this could help bring more out-of-town shoppers to Monroe, this could also have a negative impact on existing retail. They could be banking on the economy of NE LA improving in the shortterm. Hmmm...

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Never heard of it either. I didn't see any projected square footage or anything... While this could help bring more out-of-town shoppers to Monroe, this could also have a negative impact on existing retail. They could be banking on the economy of NE LA improving in the shortterm. Hmmm...

One of my thoughts was about its proximity to Pecanland Mall... if it's supposed to be a large-scale project, it's awfully close to Pecanland.

I'd be interested in seeing plans, square footages, and such.

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One of my thoughts was about its proximity to Pecanland Mall... if it's supposed to be a large-scale project, it's awfully close to Pecanland.

I'd be interested in seeing plans, square footages, and such.

If they'll be competing with Pecanland for the same stores, DISASTER for Pecanland. But if this is bringing in brand-new retail to the area, it can really complement and help Pecanland. I was browsing deadmalls.com and this scenario was all too common. :(

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Okay, the second page of this PDF file shows a site plan, though no businesses are listed. It's really not a huge center, just one of those hybrid power centers with lifestyle components like they're building everywhere. It's supposed to be roughly 400,000 sq. ft. compared to Pecanland Mall's 1 million+ square feet.

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I think Monroe will rebound. Right now it's in the midst of a painful transition, like Shreveport after the oil bust of the 80's. It'll find new growth in new areas in due time.

I think retail will emerge and provide some much needed jobs (though low paying, but better than nothing). The local and state leadership need to continue to try to sell that region of the state to potential businesses. Hopefully the automotive plant site the Gov is marketing will work out for them

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