Officials Top-Off Baton Rouge’s $30.5M IBM Technology Center

Governor Bobby Jindal and IBM Vice President Tim McLachlan, together with many other state and local officials, were present on Monday, in downtown Baton Rouge, to celebrate the topping-off of the nine-story IBM technology center. During the ceremony, executives and guests signed a piece of structural steel which was afterwards installed near the top of the structure.

Governor Bobby Jindal, IBM Vice President Tim McLachlan, and other state and local officials gathered on Monday, in downtown Baton Rouge, to celebrate the topping-off of the nine-story IBM technology center. During the ceremony, executives and guests signed a piece of structural steel which was later installed near the top of the structure.

The $30.5 million IBM technology center is scheduled for completion in May 2015. It’s part of a $55 million urban development, constructed by Commercial Properties Realty Trust (CPRT), in downtown Baton Rouge.

The new building is being developed with public funds on the site of the former home of The Advocate newspaper. It will house 800 IBM employees. Louisiana Economic Development (LED) estimates that the project will result in an additional 542 new indirect jobs.

IBM currently employs 200 people in Baton Rouge, at its Essen Lane office. These employees will relocate to the new downtown center next spring.

In order to secure the project, LED offered IBM a a customized, performance-based incentive package with grants totaling $29.5 million over 12 years. The company will also use the Quality Jobs and the FastStart programs.

“Today’s topping-off ceremony fulfills another milestone in our commitment to position Louisiana as a leader in the global technology sector. IBM’s Baton Rouge technology center will propel Louisiana on the cutting-edge of innovation, with Baton Rouge serving as a thriving landmark for major businesses and technology projects,” Governor Jindal said in a press statement. “It will also help train more of our tech students as LSU and IBM to work closely with one another to equip our students to meet the growing demand for skilled workers in the tech industry. We look forward to the progress of more outstanding career opportunities with IBM as we continue to prepare a highly skilled, next-generation workforce right here in Louisiana.”

CPRT is also building a 10-story residential tower adjacent to the new IBM technology center. It will include 85 apartments and is expected to open in October 2015. CPRT is developing the residential building with private funds. The REIT estimates the overall project to create 600 construction jobs. The IBM building and the residential building will both be owned by the BRAF-affiliated Wilbur Marvin Foundation.