Baton Rouge Metro Council unanimously approved an economic incentive agreement with a Plano-based mental health provider for $1.4 million as a grant in exchange for a new niche psychiatric hospital in the parish.
The Oceans Behavioral Health Care hospital is slated to be built at Howell Place near Harding Boulevard and Interstate 110.
Oceans specializes in geriatric psychiatric care and treats patients with dementia, schizophrenia among other conditions, which often require long-term inpatient visits. Local leaders see the new mental health hospital as a gateway for students such at those at Southern University who are looking for jobs in Baton Rouge.
The $1.4 million grant is expected to cost $140,000 each year over 10 years. The city-parish expects to generate $2.1 million in new tax revenue during the same time frame from the Baton Rouge subsidiary of Oceans Behavioral Hospital.
The company already has two locations including an outpatient facility and 20-bed inpatient facility, both off Florida Boulevard near Airline Highway. The incentive agreement is for an additional hospital location, for which the company must spend at least $1 million toward renovation and development by the end of 2020.
Oceans Behavioral Hospital's Baton Rouge operations employ 80 workers, with annual payroll of $3.6 million.
The new mental health hospital could employ up to 85 additional workers in Baton Rouge for a total of 159 in the city for Oceans. The incentive agreement would require the company to maintain that same employment level until at least 2030. The average annual projected wage for employees of the hospital is $39,500.