The private sector is doing well in Baton Rouge as a variety of projects are being developed in the residential space, including apartments and single-family subdivisions, Bruce says.
One of the bigger private developments in town is the 35-acre Water Campus, which will house more than 1.6 million sq ft of labs, research facilities and commercial space. The campus is funded by a combination of public and private money, Bruce says.
“The petrochemical industry is huge in our area, and it continues to show a lot of promise. Some good projects are underway or have been finished, and some more are supposedly on the drawing board,” Bruce adds.
But the biggest challenge for Baton Rouge lies with its infrastructure, which faces a lack of funding. “We had a tax initiative to do some important road projects that failed in December,” Bruce says. Meanwhile, a measure to increase the gas tax to bolster state funding of infrastructure also failed to pass the Legislature at the end of May. “There’s still work going on, but there needs to be an influx of funding,” he says.