West Baton Rouge Finds Commercial Development Elusive

PORT ALLEN, LA (AP) — West Baton Rouge Parish's industrial development thrived over the years thanks in large part to its close proximity to the Mississippi River.

         But the kind of residential and commercial growth that exploded across the river has eluded West Baton Rouge. Parish leaders had to work hard to land a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Port Allen a few years ago and considered that a major coup.

         The Advocate’s Terry L. Jones reports elected officials and business leaders in West Baton Rouge say they'd like to see more retail stores and other commercial development. But, they say that it's unlikely to happen any time soon due to a variety of factors.

         Although 80 percent of the land in the parish is undeveloped, much of that is designated wetlands, which is prohibitively expensive to develop.

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