BOSSIER CITY, La – Work on the new Surge Entertainment Center in the Pierre Bossier Mall continues, although the future of the complex is unclear.
Saints quarterback legend Drew Brees is one of Surge’s main supporters. Bossier City will be the company’s 15th location in the south. The centers offer arcade games, bowling, golf simulators, trampolines, ropes and obstacle courses, and more – plus restaurant service.
It will go to the former Virginia College on the south side of the mall. Construction workers clean up what was in there. Then comes the planning and construction phase of the Surge Entertainment Center on the 60,000 square meter area.
RJ Lux, vice president of Armstrong Builders, says the goal is to open in December. That gives hope to the dealers who are still in the mall. There are 70 seats. The mall only seems to be about 50 percent full.
But Surge gives mall traders hope.
“I don’t think Drew Brees would have invested millions in Virginia College’s property in the mall – the millions he spent and plans to spend, I’ve heard – if the mall actually went down,” said Tim Atkins, the manager by Quilt World & More.
According to manager Michael Gatch, H&J Music is moving from its current location to a larger space within the mall. He’s also optimistic about a surge from Surge.
“They bring a great clientele who can expand the mall. You will have the experience of parents who don’t want to be there all the time, waiting for their children to come over and come around with us, “said Gatch.
The downward trend in stationary retail and the pandemic have caused setbacks for the almost 40-year-old shopping center. According to reports, the foreclosure will come again.
Atkins says this happened in 2009. But he’s not worried that the mall might close.
“The bank takes it. They’re selling it to a new real estate company. It happened in the past. I don’t see why that shouldn’t happen again,” Atkins said.
“Foreclosure doesn’t mean closure,” added Gatch. “We look forward to the future and hope that we can make the mall a success.”
KTBS 3 News phoned no responses to comments from Pierre Bossier Mall, its owner Brookfield Properties of New York, or Surge Entertainment.
The Surge Entertainment Center’s other Louisiana properties are in West Monroe, Lafayette, and Metairie.