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Rezoning of Cortana Mall approved, paving way for potential Amazon distribution center

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BATON ROUGE - Two rezoning requests for the now-shuttered site of Cortana Mall were approved unanimously Monday by the East Baton Rouge Planning Commission.

Seefried Industrial Properties, a developer with close ties to Amazon, previously filed the requests to shift the site to warehousing three zoning and its land use to employment center.

Cortana Mall has been nearly vacant since 2019. The Dillard's clearance store is the only business still open, and it will be closing permanently in April.

Seefried has worked closely with Amazon in the past, handling the purchase of a 34-acre plot of land belonging to Bethany Church along I-10 last year, which is now home to Amazon's South Baton Rouge Distribution Center. 

Months later, Seefried purchased land in West Baton Rouge. The Advocate reports Seefried Port Allen purchased a 63.3-acre site off La. 415 near Court Street for $8.15 million and filed a notice of the lease agreement with Amazon. 

Though rumors circulated last year that the mall was being primed for an Amazon buy-out, discussions surrounding the potential deal appeared to fizzle out in the spring.  

The rezoning requests will now go to the Metro Council, with a vote expected Feb. 24. The planning commission will vote on Seefried's site plan for the Cortana site two days before that, Feb. 22. 


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