BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – It hasn’t been the best kept secret that the Amazon robotic fulfillment center is going to be placed at the site of the old Cortana Mall. As the old mall comes down, plans for a bustling fulfillment center rise. About $200 million is being invested in the facility, bringing 1,000 jobs in construction alone.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said this project helps fulfill her campaign promise to bring industry to the city.
“I’ll be honest, there were times when the future of this project seemed kind of shaky but we kept the faith and we kept working together and now after many months we have brought a monumental victory home to Baton Rouge,” Mayor-President Broome said.
Over the course of the first two decades of the facility it is estimated to bring in $2.9 billion. Fourteen-hundred jobs inside the facility are expected to open up once it is completed. Amazon has drawn some national criticism as being a threat to small businesses.
“As we bring back Louisiana we acknowledge that the economic activity certainly needs to return to all corners of our state, particularly with respect to small businesses,” Governor John Bel Edwards said. “One of the things I wanted to highlight is that Amazon said about half of the products sold are sourced from small and mid-sized businesses.”
As part of an incentive to move to Baton Rouge, Amazon will not pay property taxes but still pay around $12.2 million a year to Baton Rouge public schools. An estimate by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber predicts Amazon will create $65 million in tax revenue over 20 years.
“We wanted to make sure that schools here were fully funded so that’s what that is,” Amazon Representative Jessica Breaux said. “Our property tax that we would be paying we’re just making sure that we are not abating any portion that would go to the public school system.”
Other incentives are being discussed with the parish and Breaux said there will be more details in the coming months. The facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. The hiring process will begin months before they open and Amazon will be working with multiple city agencies to promote the openings.