Tuesday night’s decision by the Planning Commission to approve a 111,000-square-foot distribution center on Industsriplex near Siegen Lane for an Atlanta developer with ties to Amazon suggests the e-retail giant is moving forward with plans to up its investment in Baton Rouge.
Though the proposal approved by the commission didn’t have any details about who the occupant of the warehouse will be, the applicant on the project, Seefried Industrial Properties, is an Atlanta company that has developed several warehouse/distribution centers around the country for Amazon.
Officials with the city, state and Amazon have declined to comment. Local engineering firm CSRS, which was listed with Seefried on the planning commission application for the new warehouse, also declines to comment citing a confidentiality agreement.
While everyone is remaining tightlipped about the project, what isn’t a secret is that Amazon is developing warehouse distribution centers of various sizes around the country—and Louisiana currently doesn’t have any.
What’s also known, though also being kept quiet, is that Amazon, separately, continues to work on developing a much larger distribution and fulfillment center at the site of the recently shuttered Cortana Mall.
While the status of the Cortana project is unclear, sources have told Daily Report it is moving forward. In order to finalize its plans, however, Amazon has to close on at least six separate deals for the site—one for the center of the mall and one each for the five anchor tenant sites, which are individually owned. That process is long and tedious.
If and when it’s finalized, Amazon is expected to tear down the nearly 1 million-square-foot mall property, which was built in 1977, and construct an automated distribution and fulfillment center of more than 1 million square feet.
The Industriplex project, meanwhile, doesn’t necessarily contradict what the company is looking to develop at Cortana. Based on what Amazon has done in other markets, the Industriplex facility could eventually complement a larger facility, serving as what is known in the industry as a “last-mile” center, which handles packages in the last stage of the delivery fulfillment process.