Business Report

Conn’s Inc. Chairman and CEO Norm Miller and Gov. John Bel Edwards today announced the Houston-based specialty retailer of furniture, mattresses, home appliances and electronics will open a 250,000-square-foot distribution center in West Baton Rouge Parish.

Conn’s HomePlus will be the major tenant in a new distribution complex to be built on Commercial Drive between the Port Allen and Lobdell exits along Interstate 10.

With the project, Conn’s HomePlus will make a $5.7 million capital investment to build out its distribution space and create 70 new direct jobs with an average salary of more than $41,300, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 59 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 125 new jobs in Louisiana’s Capital Region.

The announcement comes on the heels of Conn’s HomePlus continuing its expansion into Louisiana, opening a second store in Baton Rouge and completing three additional stores in the New Orleans market this year. Conn’s HomePlus currently operates 127 retail locations across 14 states.

The Conn’s distribution center is the first of two potential logistics facilities on the 34-acre Commercial Drive site. CAP Industrial Park I is seeking other tenants while completing design work for a potential second distribution building of up to 270,000 square feet.

LED and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber began discussing the project with Conn’s in October 2018, according to the announcement. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company an incentive package that includes a $250,000 performance-based grant to offset building costs at the Port Allen distribution center. The company also is expected to use Louisiana’s Quality Jobs Program.