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COMRiverfront Sketch

RFP: Ouachita Candy Company

RFP: Ouachita Candy Company


The City is pleased to announce that it is currently soliciting Proposals for a developer for that certain property bound by Walnut Street and the Ouachita River in a commercially developed area of downtown Monroe, Louisiana (the “Project”). The City invites your participation in this RFP, which will include a process to evaluate proposals and select team(s) for redevelopment of the Project. The purpose of this RFP is to solicit Proposals and Statements of Qualifications (collectively, “Proposals”) from qualified developers for evaluation with respect to the design, construction, development, potential leasing, marketing and management of all or a portion of the Project which consists of four adjacent historic riverfront buildings within the City.

In light of possible financing and construction complexities that may arise in order to fully implement and successfully complete the desired development, two or more developers may respond to this RFP as a team. Successful firms should provide a comprehensive approach to achieving the project goals outlined in this RFP. The words developer, Proposer, recipient, Respondent, offeror and words of similar import may be used interchangeably throughout this RFP and shall be deemed to refer collectively to one and the same entity or group.

The City is willing to consider a wide range of development options to enable it to achieve the most viable and productive development for the Project, including but not limited to retail, commercial office space, entertainment, residential housing (consideration of both market rate and affordable), restaurants and other tourism related attractions. The City reserves the right to halt the RFP process at any stage, to reject any Proposals that do not conform to the intent and purpose of this RFP, or to reject all Proposals for any or no reason. The City also reserves the right make any changes, addendums or amendments to the RFP any time.

City of Monroe

Candy Company Mural Project

13 local artists were chosen via artist call crafted in conjunction with the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council to beautify the Candy Company building while it awaits redevelopment. The themes they chose from centered around history, heritage, the river, the original use of the building, the spirit of Northeast Louisiana, and the concept of home. The artists chosen are: Jason Byron Nelson, Rae Tedeton, Brooke Foy, Inique Harris, Keagan Vaughan, Ashley Greer, Callan Thornton, Daniel Myers, Ashley Alford-Dollar, Lissy Sanders Compton, Shykeria Washington, Jacera Francois, and Morgan Tanner.

What could the redevelopment of the Candy Company look like?

Hypothetical Layout

A hypothetical layout was developed for the adaptive re-use of the building. Recommended programming for the mixed-use building includes ground floor retail/commercial spaces, an entertainment venue, event space, grocery store, market rate apartments, and a rooftop bar. Hard costs for the development include the cost of construction, acquisition costs, and contingency funds. Soft costs include Legal fees, accounting fees, architectural fees, development fees, and pre-opening operating expenses. Sources of funding for the development could include Partner Equity (10%), the sale of State and Federal Historic Tax Credits (35%), and Senior Debt Loan Financing (55%).


The City is asking for a good faith payment of $25,000 to ensure that the interested developer is serious about the intent to finish the project.

The City has acquired the building and property and owns the riparian rights behind the building to the water’s edge. A phase 1 and 2 brownfield assessment grant has been completed, and the City is applying for a brownfield cleanup grant in the coming months. Additionally, the property is in a National Register District, a state certified Cultural District, and more incentives can be viewed in the RFP document. Discussion regarding additional incentives will take place in the negotiation phase based on developer’s sources and uses for the proposed project. 

The RFP casts the vision for the building based on the City’s goals. The City would like to see mixed use, with opportunity for commercial and residential development in the building(s). With few affordable options for entry into downtown real estate for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and residents, the Candy Company can serve as a guiding force in this type of revitalization.

The Candy Company building long served as a force in economic development for the region. The City would love to see the building embody a sense of place and highlight the unique cultural and commercial identities that have flourished in Monroe and Ouachita parish.