AVONDALE, La. (AP) — Four years after it was shuttered for good, Avondale Shipyards is getting a new lease on life.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday the former shipyard site has been purchased and will be redeveloped into a global logistics hub. Edwards joined executives of the companies forming the joint venture — President and CEO Adam Anderson of T. Parker Host Inc. and CEO Roberto Perez of Hilco Redevelopment Partners — at a ceremony to announce the new plans. The purchase price was not disclosed.
“We know that golden age of shipbuilding will not return to Avondale,” Edwards said. “But after many months of discussion, we have secured a visionary private-sector partner to create a new path for growth at Avondale. This purchase represents a great opportunity to bring new investment, jobs and prosperity back to Avondale, with a sharp focus on attracting logistics and manufacturing leaders in the global economy.”
News outlets report Avondale Marine LLC, will take over the site with the aim of creating a shipping hub that can send cargo out on ships, trucks and trains. The company, which is a partnership between Hilco, an Illinois-based financial services firm, and Host, a shipping agent based in Virginia, has been negotiating the sale for months with the site’s owner, Huntington Ingalls, Inc.
“Our goal is to place Avondale into the supply chain as a multimodal, global logistics hub that not only moves goods but actually adds value on-site,” Anderson said.
The Avondale site has high crane capacity and more than 8,000 feet of river access, including deepwater access, officials have said, making it a prime location for a shipping hub. The redevelopment could bring as many as 2,000 direct jobs back to the site, they have said.
“We’re thrilled to leverage our extensive experience in redeveloping and transforming facilities that are at the end of their current useful life into modern, productive businesses for the future,” said Perez.
In recent months, Jefferson Parish, the Port of New Orleans and the Public Belt Railroad have all enthusiastically supported the project by agreeing to favorable incentives and terms with Avondale Marine, including the building of a railroad spur to the site and a “payment in lieu of taxes,” or PILOT program to help the developers.