Rouses Breaks Ground at Former Sewell Site

New Orleans City Business – Downtown New Orleans will have its first major new supermarket by the fall according to plans Rouses Markets announced today before the groundbreaking of its renovation of the former Sewell Cadillac building at Baronne and Girod streets.

Gibbs Construction will build out the 40,000-square-foot shopping space in addition to first- and second-floor parking and an outdoor seating area. John C. Williams Architects is the designer for the project.

The downtown store will be the 39th Rouses Market location. According to the company, it’s the ninth largest independent grocer in America. The Thibodaux-based grocer became the market share leader in the New Orleans region after buying 17 Sav-A-Center locations from the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. in 2007.

The Domain Cos. is pointing to the Rouses project as the anchor for their proposed adjacent development, South Market District. Their $185 million plans call for 450 apartments and 125,000 square feet of shops and restaurants along Loyola Avenue.

“When we took over the Sav-A-Center’s after Katrina, Leah Chase said something I’ll never forget, ‘You can build a great neighborhood around a great grocery,” owner Donald Rouse said at today’s groundbreaking. “There has been so much residential development around this new store in recent years, and now there is even more on the horizon,” “The people who live here deserve a great grocery.”

CityBusiness first reported on plans for a downtown Rouses Market in May, and the company confirmed reports when it announced the Sewell property purchase in June.