The Port of South Louisiana (Port SL) said it has reached a deal with T. Parker Host to buy the Avondale Global Gateway, a logistics hub at site of the former Avondale Shipyard.
The acquisition of this 254-acre facility at mile 108 of the Mississippi River will allow the port to be more competitive in traditional international trade and focus on the new frontier of renewable energy development, Port SL said.
The purchase and sale agreement was announced Thursday by Port SL CEO Paul Matthews following unanimous approval from the port commission. The full bond application is anticipated to be $445 million, Port SL said., noting that access to existing revenue generated on the property will cover payments. The port’s leadership has also met with federal and state officials to discuss additional funding for the acquisition.
“The state’s largest port is ready to own the state’s greatest industrial icon,” said Paul Matthews, Port of South Louisiana chief executive officer. “This acquisition establishes Avondale Global Gateway as a permanent economic development arm of the state of Louisiana. The port is laser-focused on expanding our operations and bringing prosperity to the Southeast Louisiana Region.”
Avondale Shipyard was once Louisiana’s largest employer before changes and consolidation in the shipbuilding business led to the yard’s closing in 2014. Purchased by T. Parker Host in 2018, the property was developed by the new owner into a center of multimodal commerce on the West Bank of the Mississippi River. Accommodating ships, barges, rail and trucks, the site offers immediate access to regional and interstate highway systems and is positioned at the interchange of six Class I railroads, creating the capability to distribute cargo in all directions.
“Host saw the potential of the Avondale site and stayed the course through significant challenges to realize what Avondale could become. Our team of 300 Louisianans has returned the site to commerce as Avondale Global Gateway,” said Adam Anderson, president and CEO of T. Parker Host.
The deal will see Port SL enter into a long-term agreement with T. Parker Host to serve as the terminal operator.
Under the ownership of Port of South Louisiana, Avondale will become an economic arm of the state of Louisiana, and Port SL will have access to federal and state funding for further development. Avondale Global Gateway features almost 300 acres for development directly ashore and 1.5 million square feet of convertible warehouse or manufacturing space, including indoor and outdoor Foreign Trade Zone storage.
“As we look toward the next phase of Avondale Global Gateway’s evolution, we are confident this public-private partnership with the Port of South Louisiana positions the site at the forefront of the new frontier of renewable energy development, propelling the State of Louisiana into this new economy,” Host said.
According to a recent economic impact study released by Dr. Stephen Barnes, director of the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center, Avondale Global Gateway is expected to create over 4,500 jobs and a total economic impact of $32 billion in output and increase Louisiana payrolls by $8.6 billion by 2027.