BRAC joined Amazon and local and state officials in celebrating the company’s announcement of a new robotics fulfillment center in Baton Rouge on June 16. 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 local 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 sales and property taxes, nearly $31 million of which will go to supporting local public education.
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. Our central location within a day’s drive of Atlanta and Houston give the region a strategic advantage in the growing area of logistics and distribution.