Baton Rouge Business Report

Baton Rouge climbed three spots on Site Selection magazine’s latest ranking of midsize cities with the most success in landing investments for new and expanded corporate facilities, rising from No. 5 in 2015 to No. 2 last year.

The Capital Region fared well with expansions in the petrochemical, major industrial, plastics and technology sectors, Site Selection says, noting investments by companies such as HR Nu Blu Energy, ExxonMobil, Cajun Industrial Design & Construction, Formosa Plastics and General Informatics. In all, the Baton Rouge metro area recorded 48 investments for projects in 2016.

“The consistent growth and number of projects in the region speak to the business climate, talent and momentum we have,” says Baton Rouge Area Chamber President and CEO Adam Knapp in a statement. “BRAC staff was involved with several of the large projects last year that represent a significant $362.5 million capital investment in the area.”

Site Selection defines midsize—or Tier 2—cities as those with populations ranging from 200,000 to 1 million residents. Projects included in the analyses are tracked in Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database, which focuses on new corporate facility projects that have a major impact, according to a BRAC news release.

New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: A capital investment of at least $1 million, the creation of at least 20 new jobs or the addition of 20,000 square feet of new floor space.

The Baton Rouge metro area also ranks No. 1 for attracting investments along the Mississippi River corridor, and No. 2 for projects per capita.

“Despite challenging circumstances last year, Baton Rouge remained resilient and demonstrated its strength as an economic driver for the state, as evidenced by this national recognition,” Mayor Sharon Weston Broome says in a prepared statement.

Omaha, Nebraska, topped the magazine’s ranking for midsize cities, and Dayton, Ohio ranks No. 3 behind Baton Rouge. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky, and Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, rounded out the top five.

In Site Selection’s other categories, Chicago ranks No. 1 among large metro areas, and Sioux City, Iowa, is first among small cities.

In other news, Louisiana rose to No. 4 on Site Selection’s annual Governor’s Cup awards, up from No. 6 in 2015. The state recorded 169 projects per capita last year.

See Site Selection’s full ranking of the Top Metropolitans of 2016, and view the 2016 Governor’s Cup ranking.