Brown Eagle spends $8.5 million to transform north Baton Rouge warehouse into packaging facility

The Advocate

Logistics company Brown Eagle will start up a new bulk solids contract packaging facility at the former Baton Rouge Beer Agency building in north Baton Rouge.

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber said the facility will create 14 jobs and include an $8.5 million investment in improving the building on Airline Highway near South Choctaw Drive. The jobs will have an average salary of $42,000 per year.

The company has acquired the more than 100,000-square-foot warehouse and has updated it to include a bulk silo, pneumatic transfer system and multiple bulk bagging lines to package commodities in powder, pellet and flake form. The facility also serves as a consolidation and distribution warehouse.

“We have the unique opportunity to be a small business supplier to valued partners in the chemical industry, which is the top provider of jobs in Louisiana’s manufacturing sector supporting more than $79.7 billion in annual sales for businesses in our state,” Brown-Eagle Group Inc. CEO Lela Mae Wilkes said.

The firm will take commodities delivered by bulk trucks from local chemical plants, and the packing will include 18-wheeler trailer loads of pellets, powders, flakes and more.

Brown Eagle also is “working on a plan” to restore rail access from the Canadian National line to accommodate projected growth, BRAC said.

An application pending before Louisiana Economic Development shows the company is asking for the Restoration Tax Abatement, a state tax incentive that offers a break on property taxes for up to 10 years in exchange for restoring an existing structure.

Brown Eagle is woman-owned and has operated in East Baton Rouge Parish for 40 years. The new facility is in addition to the firm’s existing Dijon Drive location in south Baton Rouge.

The firm provides logistics for industrial, labor, packaging, materials handling and other services. It services manufactures in Louisiana, Texas and the eastern U.S.

The revitalization of north Baton Rouge has long been the goal of local leaders, to limited success. But last month Ready Shield Solutions, a firm owned in part by local developer Robert Day, said it would open a housing manufacturing plant in north Baton Rouge at the former Holsum Bread bakery. That project could bring 300 jobs to the area and was hailed as an economic development win for north Baton Rouge.

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