Robért Fresh Market has reopened its Marigny location at a site that had stood vacant since Hurricane Katrina.
The grocery reopened Saturday at the corner of St. Claude and Elysian Fields Avenues as part of a $9.5 million project to turn the space into a shopping center.
The 26,000-square-foot grocery serves as the anchor tenant, with an additional 12,200 square feet of retail opportunities still available. Metairie Small Animal Hospital plans to open a clinic there in May to provide medical and surgical care, pet grooming and day care services.
Prospective tenants have not been revealed, but realtors say a restaurant, coffee shop or fitness center could occupy the remaining retail space. Along with the veterinary clinic, they would be located in a separate parcel on the property.
The Industrial Development Board granted the project preliminary approval for a payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, for the project last September due to unforeseen construction costs that arose during its development.
Jackson, Mississippi-based Hope Federal Credit Union coordinated and consolidated $7 million of the project’s estimated cost. The New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative provided a $500,000 grant. The program has funded other projects such as the Circle Food Store in the 7th Ward, a Whole Foods in Mid-City and the Dryades Public Market in Central City. Additional funding is expected to come from state and federal Historic Tax Credits.
The site opened in 1946 as the first Schwegmann Brothers Giant Supermarket and the first self-service grocery store in the area. Robért Fresh Market took over the site in the 1990s.
Disputes over insurance payouts and litigation between the site’s landlord, the Schwegmann family and Robért Fresh Market were settled in 2014.
Ryan Gootee General Contractors handled construction, and Trapolin-Peer Architects comprise the design team.