Fortune 500 company plans to double its presence in Baton Rouge

    Centene Corp., a St. Louis-based Fortune 500 company that assists governments with administering health care programs, is expanding its presence in Baton Rouge by leasing 32,000 square feet on American Way.

    A subsidiary of Centene Corp., Louisiana Healthcare Connection, is one of the state’s Medicaid providers under the Bayou Health Plan. Centene Corp. says it is the largest Medicaid managed care organization in the country.

    The move comes ahead of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ planned expansion of Medicaid services in Louisiana. It was unclear this afternoon whether that decision is the impetus for Centene’s expansion.

    A construction permit was pulled earlier this week for a $1.47 million renovation of a 32,375-square-foot suite at 3854 American Way. The permit offers few details about the renovation project, but Branon Pesnell, executive vice president of Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, says the space will be for Centene Corp.

    The St. Louis company already leases about 34,000 square feet at United Plaza Office Park off Essen Lane. Pesnell says the company will keep that Essen Lane space.

    He says the new space on American Way was attractive to the company because of its open floor plans and big blocks of space, which he says is hard to find around Baton Rouge.

    The renovations are expected to take about four months.

    Attempts to reach both the Centene Corp. and National Security Properties, the property management company at 3854 American Way, for comment before this afternoon’s deadline were unsuccessful.

    —Ryan Broussard

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