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Metro Council to vote on reinvesting tax dollars raised near new Amazon distribution center

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 6:29 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Amazon reshaped retail, now the company is playing a big role in reshaping part of Baton Rouge where its new, massive distribution center will be built.

All that remains at the site of the soon-to-be complex is a heap of rubble waiting to be removed. Crews have worked to finish demolishing the old Cortana Mall, but before the first beam goes up on the new development, its impacts are being felt around the region.

“There will be demand for housing for those who are wanting to live close to Amazon,” said Tom Delahaye, CEO of CST Multi-Family Real Estate Services.

Delahaye is planning a 300 unit apartment complex about seven miles away from the Cortana site on Plank Rd. He says the demand for affordable housing near Amazon will be a boon.

“Amazon will be hiring approximately 1,000 people starting at $15 an hour,” he said. “Someone with that level of income could be in our apartment development.”

Andrew Fitzgerald, Sr. VP of Business Intelligence for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, said Metro Council, along with BRAC are trying to take advantage of the potential growth to revitalize the area.

“There will be a lot of sales tax revenue. We wanted to make sure that was captured and put toward things such as creating a masterplan for the area, infrastructure, beautification, things that will continue to draw business,” Fitzgerald said.

The plan includes creating an Economic Development Zone that encompasses the Florida Blvd. corridor and the immediate area around Cortana. It would essentially mean sales tax dollars are reinvested directly into that area.

“It further enhances it and speeds up that revitalization we want to see,” he said.

The goal is to bring more developers and businesses to the area.

The measure has already been introduced to the Council. It is expected to come for a vote on July 28.

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