Dig Baton Rouge

Report: Businesses following flight to BR suburbs

A new report says business is growing next door to Baton Rouge despite recent floods which drove many from their homes in surrounding bayous one year ago.

The Business Report says Ascension and Livingston parishes are still seeing construction and new businesses one year after the floods, a continuing trend for Louisiana’s two fastest-growing parishes.

One driving factor: younger home buyers who are taking advantage of a federal program offering home loans with zero down payments, according to realtors interviewed by the Business Report. Starting out is also cheaper, with the median home price of $169,000 in Livingston Parish almost $30,000 less than Baton Rouge.

Schools are another factor, tied into a more than 30-year trend of white flight into the surrounding parishes after desegregation orders in the 1980s according to Tulane university professor Carl Bankston. He says that by the year 2000, two-thirds of the white students in the greater Baton Rouge area public schools lived in Ascension and Livingston parishes.

“People who had advantages concentrated those advantages,” Bankston said. “When we’re talking about their children they want to invest as much of the not only financial capital but the social capital in their children as possible.”

Image: Ascension Parish Chamber of Commerce

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