Downtown revitalization continues - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Downtown revitalization continues

People who have a vested interest say Downtown Baton Rouge is poised to become one of the great recovery efforts.

The IBM announcement is the biggest land deal in a while, but Downtown Baton Rouge, which is on a growth spurt in terms of new businesses opening up.

Ben Taylor has owned property in the downtown area for a while and he says any improvements are welcomed.

"I think probably the first thing that was the big growth was when Foster got elected and then he hired Mark Drennen and he decided to get all the state offices consolidated in the downtown," said Taylor.

Taylor says that a viable downtown is the bedrock for growth and with the new Hampton Inn opening, the revitalization of the Richou's Building is great for an area that's bursting at the seams.

"If you got a poor downtown, the whole area looks bad, then the Baton Rouge Foundation turned around and re-did the hotel there what had sat vacant for 15 years," said Taylor.

The IBM Regional Software Development Center will not only put families in the downtown area, but it promises to be a stable source for growth for years to come.

"The IBM thing has been in the works for a while, but when this comes online it's the biggest development since the state offices came downtown," added Taylor.

The IBM Center is expected to be up and running by mid-2015.

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