Rubenstein and Lanford Buildings in downtown Shreveport to be redeveloped

For more than 35 years, two historic buildings have sat empty, devoid of life; creating no jobs, opportunities and no real tax base. All that ended June 21, 2022.

The 107-year-old Rubenstein’s Building and the 115-year-old Lanford Building, 513-519 Milam Street in downtown Shreveport, were recently purchased by developer Isaiah Lee of Leeson Real Estate Investment Firm.

Lee is a General Contractor who, to date, has rehabbed nearly 200 houses and buildings, many in Shreveport’s Highland neighborhood. But Lee also has experience in much bigger projects, all of which he will be bringing to bear on the Rubenstein project.

Lee’s plan is to create 36 Class A units for apartment use and 12 units for Airbnb-style shorter term leasing, all ranging in size from 400SF to 1100SF. The building will also have space for 45 self-storage units, retail, restaurant and office options as well as a multi-use event space for up to 75 people.

Leeson’s company will handle the rehab with the help of architect Jeff Spikes of iArchitecture.

Rubenstein development fast facts:

  • Two buildings make up the former Rubenstein’s Department Store, the 3-story Lanford Building at 513-515 Milam Street, and the 4-story Rubenstein Building at 517-519 Milam Street.
  • The Lanford Building was constructed in 1907, the Rubenstein Building, in 1915. (Rubenstein was initially built as a 3-story building, the 4th floor was added in the mid-1920s).
  • The Rubenstein Department Store was open from 1927-1987.
  • The new owner of the buildings is the Leeson Real Estate Investment Firm, located in Shreveport.
  • Leeson owner and General Contractor Isaiah Lee has experience on large commercial projects in cities ranging from New York City to Philadelphia.
  • To date, his company has rehabilitated almost 200 poorly maintained historic residences, many in Shreveport’s Highland neighborhood.
  • The Rubenstein project will include 36 Class A market-rate units; 12 will be short-term rentals. The apartments will range from 400SF Studio spaces to 1,000SF 2-bedroom units. Also included in the building will be a small ballroom for event rentals, an area for paid self-storage, and first floor office, retail and restaurant space.
  • Leeson’s first goal is to get the leaking roofs on the buildings repaired to stop further damage.
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