Bill Roark

This will conclude a report on the good things happening in Northeast Louisiana.

The previous two articles covered Monroe and West Monroe and today I will report on “Louisiana’s boom town,” better known to all of us as Ruston.

Once a sleepy town on I-20 with little happening, today it is the destination of choice for a growing number of businesses. It seems like the business universe has discovered this place of opportunity, the location of a high-tech University (Louisiana Tech) and another world-famous university (Grambling) with a high per capita income population.

From 2015–2018, 105 businesses opened in Ruston with more than 1,000 employees including Walmart Neighborhood Market, a Medical Center, Planet Fitness, seven restaurants and three national chain hotels.

In 2018 alone there were 104 new commercial permits totaling more than $56 million and 59 new residential permits. From January to the present in 2019 there have been 50 new commercial permits with a total of more than $12 million.

There is also another restaurant under construction, one new housing development, the Ruston Truck Stop at the intersection of Farmerville Highway and I-20 Service Road, a new Popeye’s coming soon and a multi-family complex in negotiations.

All this plus the development of the new Ruston Marketplace Shopping Center on the I-20 northside service road. The Marketplace has landed national tenants including Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Ulta, Five Below and Rack Room Shoes all this in a turbulent retail world nationwide.

The numbers I have quoted in this report come from the Economic Development Administrator for the city of Ruston. You now know why many call Ruston, “Louisiana’s boom town.”

P.S. Last column I quoted Roy Campanella as saying about a famous restaurant, “It’s so crowded no one goes there anymore.” I was corrected by a true disciple of Yogi Berra that said Yogi was the one who made this statement. Thanks for the correction.

On the Local Scene

The UNITED BUILT HOME PROPERTY at 1805 MLK,Jr. Drive, Monroe has been sold including the existing model homes sitting on 1.76 acres for $350,000.

The VINTAGE TATTOO PARLOR, 3918 DeSiard, Monroe, has been sold for $200,000. The 3,000 sf building across from the entrance to ULM and just east of Warhawk Way Dr. sold for $66 psf.

Bill Roark is a Commercial Associate Broker at Tri State Properties and may be contacted by email to

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