Locations - Baton Rouge
As the capital and second-largest city in Louisiana, Baton Rouge is a major center of politics, industry, and research, and is home to many of the state’s most important institutions. The best of Louisiana, everything that makes it unique, is present in Baton Rouge: a thriving economy, a proud and eclectic culture, forward-thinking ideas and strong local traditions. One of the country’s fastest-growing medium-sized cities, the city’s combination of location, industrial base, and government presence helped it earn a top ranking by CNN as one of the country’s top ten cities in which to start a new business.
Located along the Mississippi River, the longest river in the U.S., Baton Rouge is the farthest inland port on the river that can accommodate ocean-going vessels. This makes Baton Rouge a critical location for manufacturing, the petrochemical industry, and logistics for the country. In addition, the city is home to Louisiana State University (LSU), the largest and most important university in the state, with over 25,000 students and expertise in a wide variety of research subjects. As a university city with almost 20% of the population associated with the city’s several educational institutions, Baton Rouge also benefits from a thriving arts community and a wide range of local cultural events. The strong institutions, vibrant and diverse economy, and exciting lifestyle of Baton Rouge have made it one of the most important cities in the American South.
Baton Rouge benefits significantly from its location along the Mississippi River. As the farthest inland that large ships can travel, Louisiana’s capital also functions as one of the country’s most important intermodal shipping centers. The Port of Baton Rouge is one of the country’s largest due to its prime location, and many other industries have set up factories in Baton Rouge to take advantage of its unique location. As the home of LSU and the state capitol complex, Baton Rouge is a magnet for businesses looking to provide goods and services to the state or to attract its best-educated residents.
Downtown Baton Rouge, located a short distance from the site of River House, has experienced a rebirth in recent years, spurred by a huge effort by the state government to consolidate all of its offices in a new Capitol Complex.Private industry has augmented these efforts, and downtown Baton Rouge is now a lively and walkable neighborhood with businesses, restaurants, and cultural venues. Downtown’s importance as a cultural center was recently augmented by The Shaw Center for the Arts, a USD $55 million, 125,000 square foot facility which brings world-class theaters, arts education, and exhibits from LSUs art collections all under one roof. In addition, many festivals and events are held in downtown throughout the year, making it an exciting place in which to work and visit.
In the other direction from River House lies Louisiana State University, the preeminent university in the Louisiana educational system.
With a huge network of students, professors, alumni, and administrators studying and working at the university’s campus, LSU is one of the city’s largest employers and a huge center of economic activity. The university brings an eclectic cultural mix to Baton Rouge’s already-plentiful cultural offerings, and the city as a whole benefits from the synergy between the capitol and the university. River House’s location between these centers makes it ideal for anyone who would like to live or work near either location, with easy access to both.
Baton Rouge is widely regarded as an economically strong city, as it combines powerful natural advantages with a unique mix of institutional and private support and investment.As the capital of Louisiana, the city is home to many ‘recession-resistant’ government jobs; meanwhile, LSU attracts highly-educated professors and staff to the city. Finally, the city’s strengths in petrochemical production, logistics, high-tech manufacturing, medical research, and most recently film production have made the city one of the top 20 cities in North America for economic strength, according to the Brookings Insitution.
Institutional Power: The two largest and most influential employers in Baton Rouge – the Louisiana state government and LSU – are long-term Baton Rouge-based institutions which are in close proximity to River House. These institutions generate demand for housing, retail, and office space, which River House can easily capitalize on.
City Growth, Economic Growth: The greater Baton Rouge metropolitan area is one of the fastest-growing in the United States, strengthening the economy and increasing demand for housing, office, and retail space in the city. Moreover, while the US economy suffered during the Great Recession, Baton Rouge was one of a few cities which maintained high economic growth.
Hollywood South: While New Orleans may be more famous as a filming location, Baton Rouge is home to a large number of post-production facilities, taking advantage of the state’s generous tax incentives and helping to attract other high-paying, high-skill jobs to the city as well.
Petrochemical Prowess: Baton Rouge is home to the second-largest oil refinery in the country, and the oil industry and related industries are the city’s largest private employers.
Location: Baton Rouge’s location on the Mississippi confers to it advantages which cannot be duplicated by other cities. Goods shipped up the Mississippi River on large ships will always need to stop in Baton Rouge, creating a stable employment base in the city.
The metropolitan area was ranked as one of the fastest-growing in the United States
The metropolitan area is expected to grow by around 5% by 2016
Baton Rouge is anchored by its strategic location and its long-term institutions
The state government and Louisiana State University are the city’s two largest employers, and their permanent presence reduces the effect of any economic downturn
River House’s location approximately midway between them makes it attractive for anyone affiliated with either institution
The presence of these institutions helped Baton Rouge weather the Great Recession, as one of only a few cities which sustained high economic growth during that period
Despite substantial new development in Downtown Baton Rouge, much unmet demand for housing and retail remains
Hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment are planned, and money is being used to construct new parks, amphitheaters, plazas, and other public works
With low vacancy rates and increased demand for downtown living, River House is poised to succeed in this expanding market
Residential vacancy rates are at 3%, office vacancy rates are at 10%, and retail vacancy rates are at 4%, despite the increased building stock in recent years