Port of South Louisiana to purchase former Avondale Shipyard property

The Port of South Louisiana has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with T. Parker Host Inc. to purchase Avondale Global Gateway. The price tag is $445 million.

The acquisition of the 254-acre global logistics hub along 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 officials said.

Formerly Avondale Shipyard, Avondale, La., T. Parker Host has transformed Avondale Global Gateway into a center of multimodal commerce and combines river, road, and rail connections with ample storage and laydown space with a strategic location 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.

“The state’s largest port is ready to own the state’s greatest industrial icon,” Paul Matthews, Port of South Louisiana chief executive officer, said in a statement. “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.”

Since purchasing the property in 2018, T. Parker Host has invested significantly in redevelopment. With this transaction, the Port of South Louisiana will enter into a long-term agreement with T. Parker Host to serve as the terminal operator.

“Host saw the potential of the Avondale site and stayed the course through significant challenges to realize what Avondale could become,” Adam Anderson, president and CEO of T. Parker Host, said. “Our team of 300 Louisianans has returned the site to commerce as Avondale Global Gateway. Host will continue our work at Avondale as the terminal operator. 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.”

In its heyday, Avondale Shipyard was Louisiana’s largest employer. Over time, the shipbuilding business changed and consolidated, which eventually led to Avondale’s closing in 2014. Since then, officials and stakeholders have focused on creating a new path for Avondale.

“This acquisition of Avondale Global Gateway sets the stage for exciting new developments at the waterfront industrial park and will serve as a catalyst for new economic activity in Jefferson Parish and across our region,” said Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng. “Jefferson Parish is committed to a long-term partnership with the Port of South Louisiana, and we look forward to the continued job creation and tax generation for schools, public safety and infrastructure that Avondale Global Gateway will bring to our community.”

Avondale Global Gateway has almost 300 acres available for development directly ashore and 1.5 million sq. ft. of convertible warehouse or manufacturing space, including indoor and outdoor Foreign Trade Zone storage.

According to a recent economic impact study released by Dr. Stephen Barnes, director of the Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center, Avondale Global 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.