IBM building office, residential tower downtown
BATON ROUGE - IBM is coming to Baton Rouge and bringing with it more than 800 technology jobs.
The tech company will occupy an office building on the former site of The Advocate downtown. The IBM complex will be built and managed by Commercial Properties Realty Trust and owned by the Wilbur Marvin Foundation, a non-profit that supports the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. The deal allows IBM to occupy the building for 15 years rent free.
"We are attracting knowledge based workers, which is a migration from our traditional workforce in Louisiana, it's also different, because we're master planning a full block and we're not master planning it around office only, we're gonna have residential and retail and other alternative uses," said John Davies, Baton Rouge Area Foundation president and CEO.
The property will also feature a residential tower, making it the first high-rise riverfront residential and office building in the downtown area in more than 50 years. The two towers will be joined by a private garden terrace overlooking the Mississippi River.
The residential aspect will feature 95 apartments and 9 luxury town homes. The residential tower will secure private financing, but will also be owned by the Wilbur Marvin Foundation.
"IBM found this project very attractive because they recognized that the residential component would be very helpful for them to attract folks who could work and live really on the same block," said Davies.
IBM will make the building the home of it's new IBM Domestic Delivery Center.
"The state has been wonderful, as has the city and the university, to work with, the building being a very fascinating part of it, it's a very beautiful structure, it eases our ability to recruit as well as attract clients to come down," said Cameron Art with IBM.
The project began with a donation from the Manship family, who owned the land where the high-rise will be built.
With IBM's entry into Louisiana comes a $14 million investment into LSU's Computer Science program, an investment that will increase the output of technology driven graduates that can work for IBM.
The building is expected to be completed in 2015. To view available jobs at IBM, visit their website.