Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Land deal for IBM building finalized

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BATON ROUGE - The Manship family sold and signed over land IBM will soon be breaking ground on for its new facility in downtown Baton Rouge. It's where The Advocate newspaper building used to be on Lafayette Street between North and Main streets overlooking the river.

It's a good day for anyone invested in the vibrancy of the capitol city's downtown area.

"We're definitely taking a giant step forward as economic development and vitality of downtown Baton Rouge," said Davis Rhorer, executive director of the Downtown Development District.

A private company purchased the land and will lease it to IBM. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Thursday.

"It was sitting there with no use," Rhorer said. "And now it will be used daily with some 800 employees and residents living there."

The ripple affect of all those people will also be felt

"They'll be eating in restaurants, utilizing support services we provide, and probably bringing new employees to the city as well," Davis said.

Good news for those like Aaron Brown, who makes a living in food service at Restaurant IPO.

"(I) think it's good," Brown said. "Shows we're growing. (It'll) give a lot of people new jobs. And good for the restaurant."

IBM is scheduled to open in two years.



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