Conn's HomePlus, a Houston-based specialty retailer of furniture, mattresses, home appliances, and consumer electronics, will open a 250,000 square-foot distribution center in West Baton Rouge, CEO Norm Miller and Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Monday, April 29.

The $5.7 million facility will be the primary tenant in a new distribution complex to be built on Commercial Drive between Port Allen and Lobdell. The project will create 70 new direct jobs with an average salary of $41,300, plus benefits. Construction of the facility will create an additional 59 indirect jobs, for a total of more than 125 jobs in the Capital Region, according to Louisiana Economic Development estimates.

The announcement comes on the heels of Conn’s HomePlus continuing its expansion into Louisiana, having recently opened a second store in Baton Rouge and completed three additional stores in the New Orleans market in 2019.

Conn’s HomePlus opened a store in Harvey in February, with store openings slated for Slidell and Metairie this summer. Conn’s HomePlus currently operates 127 retail locations across 14 states.

“The new distribution center will not only grow our presence in Louisiana but will also serve as a gateway to better serve our customers in the Southeast,” Miller said. “The company is committed to continued economic expansion and further solidifying our community commitment in the state.”

CAP Industrial Park I LLC, represented by Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, is the development company that will build the distribution center and lease it to Conn’s. Groundbreaking is expected by June 2019, with completion approximately one year later. In addition to Conn’s capital investment, the developer will make a $17 million capital investment to build the distribution center.

“I am delighted to learn that Conn’s is coming to West Baton Rouge Parish,” said Parish President Riley L. Berthelot Jr. “Their plans to make a $5.7 million capital investment to build their 250,000-square-foot distribution center is certainly great news. This new distribution center is a perfect mechanism to stabilize and diversify our economy, and we welcome the opportunities they will bring.”

The Conn’s distribution center is the first of two potential logistics facilities on the 34-acre Commercial Drive site. CAP Industrial Park I also is seeking other tenants while completing design work for a potential second distribution building of up to 270,000 square feet.

“The City of Port Allen is extremely excited to hear the news about this potential project with Conn’s coming to fruition,” Port Allen Mayor Richard Lee said. “It will be located just outside our city limits on Commercial Drive in Westport Industrial Park. Additionally, we acknowledge the major economic impact it will have on our community with new jobs and investments, as our citizens look forward to new job offerings that are closer to their homes. As our small community continues to grow, we look forward to providing Conn’s the service they may need, in addition to being a good neighbor.”

LED and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber began discussing the potential project with Conn’s in October 2018. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes a $250,000 performance-based grant to offset building costs at the Port Allen distribution center. The company also is expected to utilize Louisiana’s Quality Jobs Program.

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