Costco buys Baton Rouge property



Costco has completed its purchase of a 28-acre site near Interstate 12 and Airline Highway that will be the retailers first Baton Rouge location. Costco paid $12.15 million for the land, which was the former Coca-Cola bottling plant, said Mark Hebert of Kurz & Hebert Commercial Real Estate. Hebert had the listing for the site, which has been empty since January 2009, when Coca-Cola opened a new plant on Plank Road. Plans are for Costco to open a 150,000-square-foot store by mid-2014. Company officials say it would provide jobs for 250 employees, made up of half full-time and half part-time positions. This will be the second Costco in Louisiana; the first on South Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans is set to open in September. The company is the second-largest retailer in the U.S., behind Wal-Mart. Costco is a warehouse store, customers buy annual memberships that start at $55 that allow them to shop at the store and take advantage of low prices and buying in bulk. In May, the Metro Council voted to give Costco a $7 million incentive package to move into Baton Rouge. The $7 million deal will pay for $5.5 million in road improvements to alleviate traffic back ups in the area, and $1.5 million toward the $4.5 million cost of tearing down the Coca-Cola plant. A portion of the property will be sold to Celtic Studios, which is located nearby.

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