Written by Don Hanna, Commercial Sales and Leasing Specialist for Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate

The boom of Ascension Parish began in 1955 when Ormet Corporation built it’s first plant in Geismar, Louisiana, changing Ascension from farming to an industrialized parish. On the heels of Ormet came Wyandotte Chemical, later renamed BASF Corporation, the largest chemical plant in the parish.  With these two plants in production, more plants followed with still more plants being built and existing plants increasing in size.  The population has grown to approximately 122,000 with still more people moving in.  Ascension Parish is noted for having the best school system in the state of Louisiana, is home to the Lamar Dixon Expo Center, and hosts events such as the Sportsman Show yearly in March, rodeos, and more.

Numerous commercial buildings are being constructed to facilitate the needs of chemical plants along the river and industrial parks, such as Gateway Industrial Park on Highway 30 in Geismar, Louisiana.

Don Hanna began his real estate career part-time in 1976, later becoming his full-time occupation in 1996 after retiring from BASF Corporation, where he was employed for 30 years.  He is particularly involved in the Ascension Parish area where he currently serves on the Industrial Development Board / Ascension Parish Economic Development Board as Vice Chair and is involved in the Ascension Parish Chamber through Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate.  Don was Past President of the Commercial Investment Division (CID) for 2002, a Past Member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Baton Rouge Association of Realtors (GBRAR), a Past Board Member of the Ascension Parish Realtors Council, and is Director on the Board of Managers for the Louisiana Commercial Database (LACDB).

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).