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Development demands in Ouachita

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MONROE La. (KNOE 8 News) - We've known since March that CenturyLink in Monroe is expanding and bringing economic development to the area.

But there's a problem, city leaders said there isn't enough housing to meet the demand.

But there is a solution on the way.

Bing Bishop, owner of Bing Bishop Construction, is bringing more housing to Ouachita Parish.    

"We have got obtained property in different locations in north Monroe. We are going to build some townhouse properties and we've got probably five single family dwellings we're getting ready to start. We're finishing up two or three and we have more lots to build more on. So were trying to do all we can to satisfy the need," said Bishop.

A big part of that need comes from CenturyLink, who's creating 800 new jobs here.  

"CenturyLink intends to make a major investment in the city of Monroe which is very very good for the city," said Monroe Councilman Ray Armstrong.

Councilman Ray Armstrong said other builders need to step up to the plate as well.

"One of the Challenges that century link is going to have is housing, And so we need to completely encourage the private sector to meet the housing demands that is going to be here in the future," said Armstrong.

Bishop said the demand reaches beyond CenturyLink. 

"Up to about four months ago, it would have been bad for us for eight months. But all of a sudden for several reasons, one of them being century link one being overall the general economy," said Bishop.

One of his projects is an apartment complex.

"We've got a 20-unit complex a 40-unit one we're working on, and we have a couple on the west side of the river they're big units like that. So we feel good about housing. I think we'll be able to satisfy all the people coming in here," said Bishop.

Bishop said the construction company's biggest problem, is finding enough qualified workers to help get the building done.

CenturyLink is building a new facility to accommodate the 800 new employees.

It's expected to be done by the end of 2014.

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