AMA: La. doctors make big impact on state economy

Louisiana doctors had an outsized impact on the state’s economy, accounting for $7.7 billion in economic activity and supporting 93,974 jobs statewide, according to a new report from the American Medical Association. On average, each patient physician in Louisiana supported close to 10 jobs, including his or her own, the report says. The study includes only the … Continue reading →

Tire office-warehouse sold for $9.3 million

The American Tire Distributors facility at Airline Highway and Manchac Park Road has been sold for $9.3 million. Cole Corporate Income Trust, a Phoenix-based real estate investment trust, bought the 125,000-square-foot building at 17200 Manchac Park. The seller was Scannell Properties of Indianapolis, which built and developed the office-warehouse in the 5000 block of Airline. John … Continue reading →

Chouest investing $425 million in Brazil facility

Galliano shipbuilder and oilfield service provider Edison Chouest will invest about $425 million in deepwater port facilities in Brazil. Prumo Logistica, who is leasing the property, said the investment will give Chouest a leasing area to maintain its own vessels and a base to serve its offshore customers at Brazil’s Acu Port at … Continue reading →

Lafayette’s Summit Financial joins Focus

Summit Financial, a Lafayette investment and wealth management firm with $600 million in client assets, has joined New York-based Focus Financial Partners. Focus is a partnership of independent wealth management firms with more than $70 billion in client assets. Summit Financial was founded in 2003 by Fred Werner and David Daniel, both former Legg Mason advisors. … Continue reading →

EBR spending up 6 percent in February

Consumer and business spending in East Baton Rouge Parish increased by 6.2 percent in February compared with a year ago, possibly as a result of pent-up demand from the severe winter storms that kept shoppers away from stores during the last few days of January. Sales tax collection figures released by the city-parish Finance … Continue reading →

Entergy expects to see large first quarter earnings increase

New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. expects first-quarter earnings of around $2.28 per share, well above the 94 cents recorded in a year ago and stock analysts’ $1.15 forecast. The increase was driven by higher results at Entergy Wholesale Commodities and Utility. The commodities segment benefitted from “significantly” higher wholesale electricity prices, thanks to cold winter weather and the … Continue reading →

Carnival Dream sets sail from Erato Street Cruise Terminal

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream, the largest-capacity year-round cruise ship to homeport at the Port of New Orleans, left Monday afternoon on its inaugural six-day cruise from the Erato Street Cruise Terminal. The vessel will travel to Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, and Roatan, Honduras, on its introductory trip. Beginning Sunday, the Carnival Dream will operate year-round, offering three different itineraries to the western Caribbean. The ports of call include Montego Bay, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and Key West, Fla. Before the Carnival Dream, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas was the largest cruise ship to call New Orleans home. The Erato Street Terminal underwent a $2.3 million renovation to accommodate ships as large as the Carnival Dream. Carnival is the Port of New Orleans’ largest cruise ship operator, also sailing the Carnival Elation on four- and five-day cruises year-round to Mexico.

The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream, the largest-capacity year-round cruise ship to homeport at the Port of New Orleans, left Monday afternoon on its first six-day cruise from the Erato Street Cruise Terminal. The vessel will travel to Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, and Roatan, Honduras, on its introductory trip. Beginning Sunday, the Carnival Dream will operate … Continue reading →

Long-term care costs in La. remain below U.S. median

The median cost for long-term care in Louisiana remains well below the national level, although Louisiana’s costs have grown more over the last five years than nationally, according to Genworth’s 11th annual Cost of Care Survey. The median annual cost for an assisted living facility in Louisiana is $37,875, compared with $42,000 nationally, the survey shows. The … Continue reading →

Louisiana stocks outperform market

Photo provided by Globalstar -- Globalstar's launch of a new satellite network and two debt restructurings to clean up uncertainty on its balance sheet have helped boost the Covington company's stock during the first quarter and 12 months up to March 31.. The satellite telecommunications company expects to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange April 21 and is persuing federal regulator's permission to offer wireless Internet service.

Thanks to a strong comeback from Globalstar, the Covington satellite phone company, the Pelican State Portfolio, a group of Louisiana stocks tracked by The Advocate, far outperformed the stock market during the first three months of 2014. The 24 stocks in the Pelican State Portfolio rose 9.6 percent in the first quarter and nearly … Continue reading →

Business Briefs for April 13

The LSU Public Administration Institute and Public Administration Institute Student Association will hold PAISA Day from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 23 in the rotunda of the Business Education Complex. … Continue reading →

Business Honors for April 13

The Louisiana Society of Association Executives has presented William Dufrene, senior vice president of the Alliance Safety Council in Baton Rouge, with the President’s Award and Vincent Zebeau Jr., executive vice president of the Deep South Equipment Dealers Association, with the Executive of the Year Award. They were recognized … Continue reading →

Business Meetings for April 13

DESK AND DERRICK CLUB OF BATON ROUGE WHEN: 11:30 a.m., Tuesday. WHERE: Hollywood Casino, 1717 N. River Road, Baton Rouge SPEAKER: Connie Fabre, Greater Baton Rouge Industrial Alliance RESERVATIONS: Beth … Continue reading →

Clock ticking for last-minute tax filers

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Master Tax Advisors T.J. Soni, left, and Jean Kelly stand next to a promotional cardboard cut-out in front of their H&R Block office located at 11445 Coursey Blvd.. Kelly said they will be there helping last-minute filers get their taxes into the system.

Area tax preparers are seeing higher-than-usual numbers of late filers as the deadline nears for submitting federal tax returns. “Percentagewise, I would say quite a few this year, actually,” said T.J. Soni, office manager for H&R Block’s Coursey Boulevard location. More than 25 percent of people file their returns between April 1 and the April … Continue reading →

Shoppers give U.S. retailers the cold shoulder in Canada

Associated Press photo by DAVE CHIDLEY -- A new Target store in Guelph, Ontario, faces stiff competition from Canadian Tire, which operates nearly 500 stores in the country and stocks housewares, barbecue grills and other items besides tires. It has increased its marketing and deepened its assortment of home decor and other areas.

For years, Canadians would cross the border to the U.S. to shop at Target. Exporting its cheap chic there seemed like a no-brainer. But a year after opening more than 100 stores north of the border, Target has found business isn’t so easy. Shelves are hard to keep stocked. Shoppers complain the prices are higher than … Continue reading →

Once-soaring tech stocks sink in sobering comedown

BC-US—Tech In Turmoil, 2nd Ld-Writethru,1053 Once-soaring tech stocks sink in sobering comedown Eds: Minor edits. By MICHAEL LIEDTKE and BARBARA ORTUTAY AP Technology Writers SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The stock market’s laws of gravity are inflicting pain on its highest fliers. Just look at the list of technology trailblazers whose values have plummeted from record highs during the past … Continue reading →

General Motors stock drops 4 percent, hits 10-month low

Shares of General Motors Co. sank to a 10-month low Friday amid continuing fallout from a mishandled recall of 2.6 million small cars. Standard & Poor’s raised doubts that GM’s credit rating would be restored to investment grade status this year after the automaker boosted its estimate for costs related to a series … Continue reading →

Weekly jobless claims rise in La.

First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending April 5 increased to 2,101 from the previous week’s 1,985. The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday there were 2,444 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013. The four-week moving average, which is a less volatile measure of claims, increased to 2,112 from the previous … Continue reading →

Coleman architects opens N.O. office

A New Orleans office has been opened by Coleman Partners Architects LLC at 635 Gravier St. The office gives the Baton Rouge firm its third location, having opened an office in Houston in 2006. Coleman has 31 employees, including 12 licensed architects and two licensed interior designers. The company said the New Orleans office … Continue reading →

U.S. rig count up 13; Louisiana gains 9

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by 13 this week to 1,831. The Houston firm said in its weekly report Friday that 1,517 rigs were exploring for oil and 310 for gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A … Continue reading →

Assisted-living center proposed in Hammond

A 90-apartment assisted-living center is planned for a 10-acre site in adjacent to North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond. Developer Ronald Duhe said the proposed project would focus on assisted living, independent living and memory care at the facility. The development will also include a fitness center, full-service restaurant, salon and media … Continue reading →

Another Broken Egg opening on Perkins April 21

Baton Rouge’s second Another Broken Egg Cafe at 9655 Perkins Road will hold its grand opening April 21. Stuart Ottinger, chief operating officer of Double R Restaurant Group, the Baton Rouge franchisee for Another Broken Egg, said he decided to open the second restaurant because of the success of the Citiplace location. The new restaurant will offer … Continue reading →

Coldwater Creek plans to close stores

Women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will liquidate business operations after failing to find a potential buyer or a source of capital to help fund its turnaround efforts. Coldwater Creek has four locations in south Louisiana: Towne Center at Cedar Lodge in Baton Rouge, Acadiana Mall in Lafayette, Premier Centre … Continue reading →

Brandt named to The Advocate advisory board

Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt, who served as president of the Public Affairs Research Council for 11 years, is joining a board that advises The Advocate’s owners and management on ways to improve the newspaper and stay in touch with the local community. The board was formed last year by Dathel and John Georges after their family purchased the … Continue reading →

GM making another repair

Associated Press file photo -- Chevy Cobalts move along an assembly line in 2008 at a plant in Lordstown, Ohio. The Cobalt is among 2.6 million cars that General Motors is recalling for repair on a second part.

General Motors has to repair another part on the 2.6 million small cars already being recalled for an ignition switch defect. That will add to GM’s recall-related expenses. GM said Thursday it expects to take a charge of $1.3 billion in the first quarter, up from an earlier estimate of $750 … Continue reading →

BR apartment market absorbing units, more coming

Rendering provided by Commercial Properties Realty Trust --The view of the planned $55 million IBM complex in dowtown Baton Rouge shows the adjacent residential complex looking from the south.

Over the past eight years, the Baton Rouge apartment market has absorbed nearly 6,900 units, with rents steadily increasing and vacancies holding at about 5.5 percent. But the market will be put to the test in the next few years with nearly 1,400 new units under construction and almost 1,150 apartments in the planning stages, … Continue reading →

Office market demand strong, space low

There’s strong demand in the local office market and the supply of available space is “extremely low.” Branon Pesnell, with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, said the occupancy rate in Baton Rouge is a little more than 88 percent, up from 86 percent in 2013. At the same time, rents rose in areas such as Acadian/College, Sherwood … Continue reading →

Residential sales showing ‘phenomenal’ growth

The 2014 outlook for the Baton Rouge real estate market is largely positive, thanks to the thousands of new jobs that are projected to come to the area and an improving national economy. “The residential market is on fire,” said Tom Cook, an appraiser with Cook, Moore & Associates. There were 8,870 home sales in the eight-parish … Continue reading →

Drusilla Shopping Center to get new owners, name, look

The Drusilla Shopping Center will get extensive renovations and a new name after being purchased by a group of investors led by Donnie Jarreau, who redeveloped the Southdowns Village Shopping Center. The 140,000-square-foot center at Jefferson Highway and Drusilla Lane sold for nearly $10.5 million. The seller was Garry Lewis, who bought the center … Continue reading →

Price LeBlanc heirs buy Citiplace office building

A group of investors, made up of the heirs of auto dealer Price LeBlanc, has purchased a Citiplace office building for $7.825 million. Wolf Et Al L.C. bought the Citiplace III building at 6100 Corporate Blvd., said Charles Bondy. Bondy, who is LeBlanc’s son-in-law, is listed as being a member of Wolf Et Al, along with … Continue reading →

LSU athletics generate $397 million local impact

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger  fires up the team during its pre-game routinebefore a 2012 matchup with Texas A&M. LSU athletic teams, led by football, had an economic impact of $397.5 million on the four-parish Baton Rouge area in 2012

LSU athletic teams had an economic impact of $397.5 million on the four-parish Baton Rouge area in 2012, according to a study commissioned by the Tiger Athletic Foundation. Loren Scott, a retired LSU economics professor and head of the consulting firm of Loren C. Scott & Associates Inc., led the study and revealed its findings … Continue reading →

BR-area attracting national retailers’ interest

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is poised to make more moves into the local market, with grocery stores in Prairieville and Denham Springs, a real estate agent said at Thursday's Trends seminar.

The market for retail real estate is expected to remain steady in metro Baton Rouge in 2014, with national companies expanding their presence locally. “It will be more of the same,” Jonathan Walker, an agent with Maestri-Murrell Commercial Real Estate, said at Thursday’s annual trends in real estate seminar. Baton Rouge has seen steady population growth … Continue reading →

Industrial demand expected to remain strong in 2014

Advocate staff file photo by Bill Feig -- Downtown Baton Rouge as seen in this Nov. 18, 2010 aerial photo.

The demand for industrial properties will continue to stay strong in the Baton Rouge market during 2014, a speaker at the annual Trends in Real Estate Seminar said Thursday. More industrial service companies will enter the market because of the boom in petrochemical plant projects, said Scot Guidry, with Mike Falgoust & Associates. “While the … Continue reading →

La. Fish Fry co-founder buys Kean’s building

Cliff Pizzolato, the co-founder of Louisiana Fish Fry, has purchased the old Kean’s cleaners building near the Perkins Road Overpass for $564,295. Pizzolato and his wife, Tracie, purchased the property under their limited liability company, Thomas & Taylor, according to documents filed with the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court’s Office on Monday. The … Continue reading →

Globalstar to be listed on NYSE

Shares of Globalstar will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange later this month, 16 months after the stock was delisted from the Nasdaq because its price fell too low. The company announced Wednesday that Globalstar will debut on the NYSE on April 21. The leadership team from the Covington-based company has been invited to … Continue reading →

Towns, officials fight pipeline closure

A multibillion-dollar hedge fund’s plan to abandon a leaky, money-losing gas pipeline that serves thousands of consumers in Louisiana could force some people to pay up to 15 times as much for natural gas, according to opponents of the proposal. “It would have a drastic effect on our customers. You could say catastrophic,” said Michael Bradford, superintendent … Continue reading →

Report ranks La. second worst in gender pay gap

Women continue to earn less than their male co-workers, with Louisiana posting the nation’s second-worst gender wage gap — at 33 percent on average — in a report released Tuesday. The nonprofit National Partnership for Women & Families in Washington, D.C., said the wage gap for women is 23 percent on average nationally. “Unfair wages cause … Continue reading →

Methanex considering third plant in Geismar

Ascension Parish is being evaluated as the possible site for a third Methanex methanol production plant, a company spokeswoman said. “We are looking at expansion opportunities globally. No decision has been made on a possible third relocation, but it is one opportunity that is being evaluated,” said Meg Mahoney, spokeswoman for the … Continue reading →

Business Briefs for April 6

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber has set May 1 for an “Around the Table” event that will place 225 participants in 20 different homes in a new dinner party project designed to help connect newcomers with locals and encourage conversations. The event is open … Continue reading →