Amazon will locate its latest robotics fulfillment center in Louisiana, with over 1,000 jobs and a $200 million capital investment coming to Baton Rouge. Located on the former site of Cortana Mall, the facility is being constructed near the intersection of Florida Boulevard and Airline Highway, providing necessary access for Amazon’s logistics operations.
The Amazon robotics fulfillment center in Baton Rouge will include contemporary robotics technology, inventory and shipping operations in a multi-level building with an 820,000-square-foot foundation. The project will create over 1,000 full-time jobs with starting pay of $15 per hour and comprehensive benefits. The development will generate 800 construction jobs, and Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates the project will result in an additional 1,139 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 2,100 permanent new jobs in Louisiana’s Capital Region.
“Louisiana has a long and storied history as a leading state for the shipping and transport of goods,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “Today’s announcement by Amazon reveals a new chapter in that history, as Baton Rouge will now be home to a state-of-the-art Amazon Robotics Fulfillment Center. I am proud to welcome this new investment to Louisiana’s Capital Region, and I thank Amazon for its continued investment in our great state – the third such investment in seven months. The new jobs and opportunities created by this project will be a tremendous value to Baton Rouge and the entire state.”
Baton Rouge is strategically located for Amazon to secure its goal of fast delivery to customers in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast. Construction is already underway for the Baton Rouge facility, with plans to open the site by December 2022. In addition to the robotics fulfillment center, the company also operates an Amazon Delivery Station in Baton Rouge.
“We’re a global business with local roots set firmly in the communities in which we live, work, and play. From the local jobs we bring, to the local people we employ, train and upskill—our business is made up of people from the communities like Baton Rouge,” said Bri Tye, Regional Director of Operations at Amazon. “We’re excited to be growing our operations in the capital city of Louisiana and want to thank the local community and all of the state and local leaders for their support in making this project possible.”
The Amazon robotics fulfillment center in Baton Rouge is tied with the recently announced robotics fulfillment center in Shreveport as the two largest of the eight Amazon facilities operating, announced or under construction in Louisiana. At the new Robotics Facility in Baton Rouge, Amazon employees will pick, pack and ship smaller customer orders, such as books, toys, electronics and other household items alongside the latest in robotics technology.
“For over a generation, Cortana Mall has made immeasurable impacts on the fabric of our community in East Baton Rouge Parish,” said Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “It has served our community as a starting place for our small businesses to grow and thrive, it has employed our residents, and sparked the development of many of our neighborhoods. The area has evolved over time and we are thrilled that Amazon will invest in revitalizing and bringing life to an area that once served as the heart of our community. I am confident that Amazon will bring quality jobs and innovation in AI, logistics and operational management to our city and parish. This investment will set the foundation for a stronger future for all of Baton Rouge. We are grateful, I am grateful, and generations in the future will be grateful for your investment in our Capital City.”
LED and its economic development partners began formal discussions with Amazon about a potential fulfillment center at the former location of Cortana Mall in January 2020. To secure the project, Louisiana offered the company an incentive package that includes the LED FastStart® workforce training and talent attraction program. To offset site infrastructure costs, Amazon will be eligible for a $5 million performance-based grant payable in two installments during 2022 and 2023.
“This is the one we’ve been waiting for,” said president and CEO Adam Knapp of Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “Amazon’s project is transformational, both for creating a thousand jobs and serving as a model of intentional economic development. It’s been a great team effort of state and local leadership to get this project in place. The blighted Cortana Mall will be reinvented into a modern logistics hub that will catalyze investment in the Florida Boulevard corridor and beyond.”
In 2020, Amazon ranked Louisiana No. 5 among all states for the fastest annual growth among its digital entrepreneur partners. More than 14,500 small and medium-sized businesses in the state participate in Amazon’s fulfillment network and collectively recorded a 49 percent growth in recent year-over-year sales.
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