The first phase of the long-awaited Juban Crossing mixed-use development opened in mid-October, bringing major national and regional retailers to Livingston Parish.

Planning for Juban Crossing first started in 2005, and Houston-based Creekstone Companies bought the 471-acre site at the intersection of Interstate 12 and Juban Road in 2006. But the national recession put a hold on the development as retailers halted expansion plans.

Creekstone broke ground on Juban Crossing in 2011, but stopped work after the company determined it needed more money to reach the same level of quality for the project as originally planned.

After several failed attempts at finding state and local government funds to pay off borrowing costs, developer Stephen Keller said the project would move forward without the additional revenue. Work resumed in October 2013.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Keller spoke about the difficulties in getting Juban Crossing built and thanked Livingston Parish officials for standing behind the development for years, even when times got tough.

“I can’t tell you how elated I am to finally see this day,” Keller said.

Improving the retail offerings in fast-growing Livingston had long been a goal of parish leaders.

By bringing in stores such as Belk, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, Academy Sports and Old Navy, the hope is sales tax dollars will stay in the parish instead of flowing into East Baton Rouge or Tangipahoa parishes.

Juban Crossing will continue to grow during 2015. The first Rouses supermarket in the area is set to open in mid-January and an 11-screen Movie Tavern theater will be open by summer.

Keller plans to add 350 apartments to Juban Crossing by 2016 and eventually 500 homes will be built to the west of the shopping center. The first homes should be ready for move-in by 2017.