Contractor Turner Industries is yet another local business seeking to be annexed into the city of Baton Rouge to avoid becoming part of the new city of St. George — the total assessed value of which hit $16 million this week.

Turner Industries, an industrial construction and maintenance company for the petrochemical industry, is headquartered inside the United Plaza office complex and joins half a dozen other building owners who are seeking the same outcome.

Turner Industries did not immediately respond to comment for this story. Thomas H. Turner, CEO of the company, signed off on the petition filed on Monday.

Stirling United Plaza Boulevard LLC, an affiliated company of the Covington-based real estate brokerage firm Stirling Properties, also added a private roadway inside the complex to the same annexation petition as was filed for Turner Industries.

The total assessed value of the Turner property and the Stirling roadway is $9.4 million, according to the petition. That is in addition to a previous application with a total assessed value of $6.6 million, which included five other buildings.

Turner Industries paid $105,816 in property taxes during 2018, according to records from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s office. Property taxes in the unincorporated parish are lower on average so the annexation into city limits will come with an increase.

Stirling Properties also has an office inside of Two United Plaza at 8550 United Plaza Blvd — which is slated to be annexed into Baton Rouge — in a previous application. In United Plaza, another property owned and occupied by the Louisiana School Employee's Retirement System is seeking annexation.

The owners of One United Plaza, Two United Plaza, Eight United Plaza, Twelve United Plaza, which in total span more than 326,000 square feet and whose owners paid $628,278 in property taxes collectively in 2018 — all of which could be annexed into the city of Baton Rouge.

Attorney Charles Landry was retained by all the property owners who submitted annexation requests so far. Landry was involved in efforts in 2014 to annex several major commercial centers out of the then-proposed St. George area into the Baton Rouge city limits. Those properties included much of the Mall of Louisiana, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Siegen Lane Marketplace and Baton Rouge General’s Bluebonnet campus. Other properties Baton Rouge annexed are the Costco store near Interstate 12 and Airline Highway and L’Auberge Baton Rouge.

Landry himself is an owner of a United Plaza property which is seeking annexation into Baton Rouge, that building generated $61,000 in property taxes in 2018.

Richard Lipsey, the founder of Lipsey’s wholesale firearm distribution business, is using a different process to request annexation into Baton Rouge for its headquarters. Lipsey's is not immediately contiguous to the city of Baton Rouge and the petition will require approval from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. 

Baton Rouge can accept annexation petitions only from areas that share a common border with the city. The process is simpler for businesses because there are no registered voters living in the office buildings. For a successful request to annex a subdivision, 50% plus one of the registered voters in the neighborhood must be in favor of the request.

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