Ferriday to create two business incubators

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

FERRIDAY &045; The Town of Ferriday plans to start rebuilding the old Pasternack building starting next month for use as a business incubator, Mayor Glen McGlothin said.

The work will be done with a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a $284,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

&uot;The plan is to have a business incubator, a mini mall and a senior citizens’ center all in that building,&uot; McGlothin said this week.

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The Pasternack family donated the structure to the Town of Ferriday in November 2000.

But in October 2001 fire destroyed two-thirds of the First Street building, which housed a variety of businesses &045; including furniture, clothing, grocery, hardware and drug stores &045; before closing in 1983.

At that time, the town had already gotten approval for the grants to be used to renovate the building. After the blaze, the town was required to seek reapproval to use the funds for construction.

At the time of the fire, a ceramics shop and a T-shirt manufacturer had both signed letters of intent to locate in part of the building, while the other part was to be used as a senior citizens’ center.

At one time, the town had also leased the Ferriday Kindergarten Center building from the Concordia Parish School Board with hopes of locating an industry there.

But recently the town swapped its lease on that building for a lease on the old Alternative Center building that sits near Town Hall. Now the town plans to use the Alternative Center building as business incubator space. Some space will also be used to house programs of the Louisiana Department of Social Services.

&uot;The only thing that’s stopping us is we’ve got to get the roof worked on,&uot; McGlothin said.

And, since inmate labor will be used, the town must wait on that project until inmates finish work on a parish shooting range, he said.