“We’re wanting ahead,” Gov. John Bel Edwards, D-Louisiana mentioned. “We’re not wanting again.
NEW ORLEANS — There’s a new push to draw jobs and manufacturing to the outdated Avondale Shipyard complicated on the west financial institution of Jefferson Parish.
Friday, state and native leaders have been available to formally declare the power reopen for enterprise.
“We’re wanting ahead,” Gov. John Bel Edwards, D-Louisiana mentioned. “We’re not wanting again. This isn’t all about nostalgia. That is about the actual potential or the actual promise of what’s going to occur right here.”
The newly minted Avondale World Gateway was as soon as dwelling to the most important non-public employer in Louisiana.
At its peak, 26,000 employees have been on website, constructing ships for the navy and different clients.
It closed in 2010 and T Parker Host purchased the mothballed facility in 2018. Host has now spent about $100 million redeveloping the positioning.
That features three new ship-to-shore cranes, refurbished berths for cargo vessels, and a brand new rail loading facility.
“Our objective is to have tenants who’re including worth and meaning both repackaging, processing, constructing, assembling issues proper right here on website from uncooked supplies after which delivering them by way of the highway and rail and river system,” T. Parker Host CEO Adam Anderson mentioned.
Financial improvement on the Avondale waterfront industrial park was hampered by document excessive water on the Mississippi two years in the past, the Covid-19 pandemic, and final 12 months’s Hurricane Ida.
The storm triggered about $15 million in injury to the positioning.
Avondale now has about 300 staff who principally deal with cargo for 2 to a few ships per week.
“My father labored out right here within the 60s and we’ve been having a superb time understanding right here for T. Parker Host,” Gerry Washington mentioned.
“We’re searching for the expansion and it’s a pleasure working with all these folks, you already know,” Derrick Smith mentioned. “It’s again in enterprise, again in stride.”
Governor Edwards expects the workforce at Avondale to develop by the tip of the 12 months.
He additionally confirmed Louisiana has reached out to billionaire businessman Elon Musk, who simply so occurs to be searching for a location for a Gulf Coast manufacturing hub.
“There are conversations with him as a result of he’s taking a look at one in Texas and he’s taking a look at a website in Louisiana, so these conversations are taking place,” Edwards mentioned. “He’s truly searching for locations to fabricate elements for electrical batteries.”
Whereas Musk might or might not have his sights set on Avondale, leaders do anticipate to welcome some new tenants there within the coming months.