PINEVILLE -- Mike Tudor has wonderful childhood memories about College Park. His grandfather, Simon W. Tudor, purchased the patch of land along La. Highway 107 from Alexandria Lumber Co. in the mid-1940s, just a few years after Mike was born. A few years later, Simon Tudor, the founder of Tudor Construction Co., and his son, Robert B. Tudor Sr., Mike's father, would begin developing one of the only two residential neighborhoods that the famous first family of Pineville construction would build. Simon Tudor, who Mike said loved residential development, died four years after the first house was constructed in College Park, and the company he founded eventually focused almost exclusively on commercial development. - - - But Tudor Construction left behind a residential community that has been one of the premier neighborhoods in Pineville for the past 60 years. 'It's a wonderful community,' said City Councilman Kevin Dorn, whose District 2 includes the neighborhood. One of the biggest drawing points of College Park is the neighborhood's two small lakes. They actually were made from a sawmill pond that existed when the property was owned by Alexandria Lumber Co., Tudor said. The sawmill served the heavily wooded areas of Kolin and Libuse, and a train ran along La. 107 bringing logs in and out. The pond was where the company parted the logs. When the Tudors purchased the property and eyed it for development, they focused on the sawmill pond as a key element. Mike Tudor said they broadened the pond, put in a dam and planned to develop around it. In fact, the subdivision's only street, Lakeshore Drive, makes a figure-eight around the lakes. The first house -- a large, two-story home -- was built in the neighborhood in 1952 on the concrete foundation of the old sawmill. It was a home that became known to the Tudor children as the 'Goat Castle.' Mike Tudor said that when the family would get together on Christmas Eve in the early 1950s, the goats on the property would migrate around the foundation. It took five or six years from the time the Tudors purchased the property for the first home to be constructed. Development of the neighborhood didn't happen any more quickly after that, though. Capital was thin following World War II, Mike Tudor said, and developers had to endure two recessions during the 1950s. Development also worked a little bit differently 70 years ago. 'It developed slowly,' Tudor said. 'Streets had to be put there. There was no assistance from towns, no planning commission, and the developer had to put everything in.' Following the death of Simon Tudor, Robert Tudor Sr. took over the company, and he was joined by his oldest son, Robert 'Buddy' Tudor Jr., in 1961 following his graduation from college and military service. 'When my brother came back, he wanted to focus more on commercial construction, and that's about the time when commercial construction really took off,' Mike Tudor said. Although Tudor Construction shifted its focus, becoming not only a major commercial developer in Central Louisiana but one of the largest in the South, it would dabble in residential development again, building the Oakbrook subdivision off Susek Drive and also planning an extension of College Park. Hickory Drive, a dead-end street off Bragg Street, was constructed, and two more lakes were built. But the neighborhood was never developed, and the Tudor family eventually donated the land to the city of Pineville for the construction of the Tudor Community Center, which opened in 2010. Though College Park is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, that doesn't mean the area isn't still growing. The city invested near the area recently with the Tudor Community Center, and there's more commercial development planned nearby on La. 107. Louisiana state Rep. Lance Harris, owner of the chain of Leebo's convenience stores, has targeted the area to bring a new store. 'It's a good location, I think, to do some business,' Harris said. Harris has placed a sign on the corner of La. 107 and Pinegrove Drive, about a half-mile east of College Park, that a Leebo's store is coming. Harris said he targeted that area after doing a traffic count which showed that La. 107 is a major artery into Alexandria. All of the plans for the store have been approved, Harris said, and it will include a private pizza franchise and a Chester's Fried Chicken drive-thru. Harris said he hoped to create a 'food court' atmosphere in addition to the Leebo's convenience store. But he's waiting to see how the economy does this spring before breaking ground. He said he hoped that would happen by the spring 'if not sooner.' Because of its history and reputation as being a premier neighborhood in 'old town Pineville,' most of the College Park residents have lived there for a number of years. 'Just great people,' Dorn said. 'It's one of the landmark communities of Pineville. ... It's just a great place to live.' Many older neighborhoods have issues that arise, mostly due to aging infrastructure. That's not the case for College Park, however, Dorn said. 'It's still rockin' and rollin',' he said. About the only complaint he hears from residents pertains to the two lakes in the neighborhood. The lakes are among the major drawing points for the community, but because they're privately owned, Dorn said, city officials aren't able to address any problems. 'Whatever needs come up to serve that, we can't do that because it's private,' Dorn said. Kathy and Greg Henagan don't have any complaints about College Park -- except that maybe they should have moved there sooner. The Henagans purchased a tract of land at 1006 Lakeshore Drive about 15 years ago, but didn't actually build their home until about two years ago. It's the newest in the subdivision. At the time they purchased the lot, Kathy was working in Libuse and looking to move from Alexandria closer to her office. About three months later, though, she quit that job and decided she wanted to stay in Alexandria, where she had lived since 1967. 'I had been in Alexandria for 40 years and had an aversion to Pineville,' she said. Looking back, she said, she wished she hadn't waited 13 years to move to College Park, and she thanked her husband for never giving up on convincing her it was the right move. 'Now that I'm here, I love it out here,' she said while sitting on her front porch overlooking one of the two lakes in the subdivision. 'It's beautiful out here.' Greg Henagan said he 'knew it was a matter of time' before he convinced his wife to move and never gave up hope of eventually settling in College Park. He was looking for something with close proximity to neighbors that still offered privacy. There's plenty of that in College Park, which is surrounded by a 6-foot-high fence and features only one way in and one way out. On a given day, he said, maybe five cars will pass in front of his house. The neighborhood also offers easy access in all directions through La. 107. 'I love it out here,' he said. 'It's so peaceful.' The Tudors have their imprint on College Park still today. Mike Tudor said he still has two aunts who live in the neighborhood. Like many residents, they moved into the subdivision and never left. He recalled being a child and literally growing up in the area. 'All my first cousins lived there,' Tudor said. 'A lot of the relatives built homes there. There must have been a dozen and a half first cousins, and we all grew up in College Park.' Tudor learned to water ski on the lake in the neighborhood before eventually taking his leisure activities to Buhlow Lake after it was constructed. His grandfather had grandiose plans for the neighborhood as he hoped Louisiana College, which is just across the Cottingham Expressway from the subdivision, would grow and expand even more than it has. While LC never grew into the university Simon Tudor had hoped, College Park has been the home to faculty members through the years as he envisioned, Mike Tudor said. Even though College Park has aged, Tudor believes there's still a bright future for the neighborhood. It's quiet, fenced-in and quaint, with only one way in and one way out on Lakeshore Drive. And it's conveniently located along La. 107, with access to the rest of the city and Alexandria. Whether it can be truly remodeled, while keeping the integrity and quality of the neighborhood superior, remains to be seen, but Tudor said he hopes it can be done. 'I look at it like Marye, White and Albert (streets in Alexandria),' Tudor said. 'It's 60 years old, but you still have some families like my two aunts who are still in the same house they built. It's been very, very stable. It does have a neighborhood association. It has all the elements in place for it to maintain as a desirable neighborhood.' ---Editor's note: This story is part of a series that will profile different neighborhoods in Pineville in 2012. A new story in the series will run on the last Sunday of each month. Each story looks at a specific neighborhood's strengths and weaknesses, its successes and challenges, and some of the people who help make the neighborhood unique.