Metro BR named a top area for expansions

The Baton Rouge metro area tied for the second best region for new and expanded corporate facilities, according to a ranking by Site Selection magazine.

Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pa., tied with Baton Rouge in the Site Selection list, behind Omaha, Neb., in the category of metro populations between 200,000 and 1 million.

This is the fourth year in a row Baton Rouge has made the magazine’s top 10 list.

Louisiana ranked third overall in the number of qualifying projects per 1 million residents. Only Nebraska and Ohio ranked ahead of the state.

Morgan City finished fifth in the Site Selection list of the top performing micropolitan areas — places with populations of 10,000 to 50,000. It was behind Wooster, Ohio; Tupelo, Miss.; Cullman, Ala.; and Findlay, Ohio.

“Being included on this list four years in a row is a testament to the strength of our region and the momentum underway,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber.

“This success would not have been possible without a true regional strategy and partnership,” he added. “We thank the leaders of our nine parishes for their great work last year, as well as our state partners.”

The list is based on new facilities and expansions that meet three factors: a capital investment of at least $1 million, creation of at least 50 new jobs and addition of at least 20,000 square feet of space.

The list does not include retail, hospitals, schools or government facilities.

BRAC worked with 15 companies in 2013 that announced expansions or relocations in the region. These projects will result in the creation of 2,167 new jobs, $112 million in new payroll and $4.4 billion in capital investment.