Project expected to generate $65 million in local sales and property taxes over 20 years
Baton Rouge, La. (June 16, 2021) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today joined Amazon and state and local leaders in announcing the company’s latest robotics fulfillment center, which will be located in Baton Rouge on the former site of Cortana Mall.
Amazon’s redevelopment of the former Cortana site will have a significant, lasting economic impact on the Capital Region. The construction of the $200 million facility alone will create an estimated 1,000 jobs and over $57.9 million in payroll for construction contractors. The overall economic impact of the project will be $2.9 billion between 2021 and 2040 and will support over 1,400 total jobs and $53.8 million in annual payroll – 1,000 of those jobs will be employed directly by Amazon, with a minimum pay rate of $15 per hour.
In addition to creating renewed economic activity in what was formerly a failing mall, BRAC’s economic impact analysis projects that the Amazon project will generate significant tax revenue for the City-Parish. Over the first 10 years, the project will generate $25.9 million in tax revenues, including more than $12.2 million for East Baton Rouge public schools. Over a 20-year timespan, it will generate $65 million in local sales and property taxes, nearly $31 million of which will go to supporting local public education.
“This is the one we’ve been waiting for,” said BRAC President and CEO Adam Knapp. “Amazon’s project is transformational, both for creating a thousand jobs and serving as a model of intentional economic development. This has been a great team effort of state and local leadership with many public and private partners to secure this deal at this specific place. The project is meaningful for north Baton Rouge revitalization, for Mid City along Florida Boulevard, as well as for the entire region’s economy when this blighted former mall will be reinvented as a 21st century, robotics-enabled logistics hub. This is the antidote to the poison that a shuttered Cortana might easily have become.”
The Amazon project is an example of the Capital Region successfully diversifying its industry mix: during the pandemic, logistics proved to be a resilient sector, with thousands of job openings and a smaller percentage of jobs lost than nearly any other industry. As the percentage of goods sold via e-commerce increases, Baton Rouge will continue to grow as a logistics hub due to attractive access to highways, ports, rail, and air freight.
About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber
The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at brac.org.