Here is a press statement from the organization:
Today, the Louisiana Association of Business Industry (LABI) announced the sale of their existing office building that has served as their statewide headquarters since 1983 and the move of their offices to a new location in downtown Baton Rouge.
“On behalf of the more than 2,200 businesses we proudly represent across Louisiana, we are very excited to announce that LABI will move its statewide headquarters to downtown Baton Rouge,” said LABI president and CEO Stephen Waguespack. “As the state chamber of commerce, manufacturing association and Louisiana’s largest business group, it is critical that we work closely in spirit and proximity with policymakers in the state capitol and other executive branch agencies. Our members work hard each day to hire Louisianans and invest in their communities, and they depend on us to promote free enterprise and economic growth on their behalf. Our new downtown headquarters will enable us to better accomplish that mission.”
Last week, LABI completed the sale of its current offices to University View Academy, which was looking to expand its footprint in the area, for $1.8 million. The building acquisition by University View will be the third addition to their expanding neighborhood campus.
Additionally, LABI has a purchase agreement in place to acquire the building and land at 500 Main Street in downtown Baton Rouge from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation for $2.7 million. The current tenant at that location, Stantec, will remain on the premises until they execute their planned relocation to the Water Campus in late 2018/early 2019. During this transition, Stantec will become the tenant of LABI at 500 Main Street under the same terms and conditions as their previous lease. During this time, LABI’s temporary headquarters will be located on the 11th floor of the Chase South Tower beginning September 1st. Once Stantec’s relocation to the Water Campus is complete, LABI will commence the updates to its future long-term home at 500 Main Street so that the building best reflects the work ethic and ingenuity of Louisiana employers and satisfies the needs of its members.
“Louisiana businesses of all sizes deserve to have a strong voice on their behalf, and LABI has proudly served in that capacity since 1974. With the acquisition and planned renovation of our new downtown headquarters, this mission will be taken to the next level,” Waguespack said. “Our vision for the LABI new downtown headquarters is to provide a cutting-edge and welcoming environment that is accessible to policymakers, businesses and other community leaders. We want the building to tell the story of the Louisiana business community and the critical role they play in the success of our great state.”
“This is an exciting day for LABI and the entire business community. LABI’s members love this state and are proud to call it home. This new headquarters will become another dynamic addition to downtown Baton Rouge and will become a gathering place for Louisiana employers and a tribute to the many great contributions they make to our economy.” said Art Favre, president of Performance Contractors and 2017 chairman of the LABI Board of Directors.
“We are pleased to see LABI join the transformation we are witnessing in downtown Baton Rouge. Over the last few decades and with the participation of many, downtown is reinventing itself. As Louisiana’s state chamber of commerce, LABI will be a critical and welcome addition to this area,” said John Davies of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.