On The Greaux – The building boom continues in Lafayette

Don’s on the run
May 5, 2009, 2:47 pm
Filed under: New Construction | Tags: ,

Have you ever flown back from a long trip and craved a good cup of crawfish bisque the second your plane touched down only to realize you flew into New Orleans? Fret no longer – Don’s is opening a new location along I-10 in Gonzales next to Cabela’s. I noticed the new spot recently – and Baton Rouge Business Report published this photo of this Cajun outpost this week. The publication says this is Don’s sixth location. I believe the Gonzales restaurant is Don’s Seafood Hut – a sister of the popular Johnston Street Hut.

The local chain’s Shreveport restaurant closed a few months ago. People in North Louisiana don’t like good seafood ??? Surprise!


New Gas Station at University / I-10
May 5, 2009, 11:59 am
Filed under: Development, New Construction | Tags: ,

A new Cracker Barrel / Shell gas station is under construction at the University / I-10 interchange.  The new store replaces an abandoned Texaco that used to sit at the site right in front of the Red Roof Inn.  The new $750,000 station was permitted in March.  The Baton Rouge-based company already runs 17 Cracker Barrels and three Church’s Chicken restaurants in the Lafayette area. 

Too often I hear about people from out of town who think Lafayette doesn’t have much to offer based on some of the older development along I-10.  I think this is a great re-use of an abandoned commercial site at one of Lafayette’s front doors.

$600k Building Permit


Can you imagine forking over more than half a million dollars just to get a building permit?  That’s how much it is costing Our Lady of Lourdes to just get the o-k to build a new hospital on Ambassador Caffery.  The hospital was issued a $120 million building permit April 2nd.  Lemoine is listed as the contractor.  The new campus will be located on Ambassador between Verot School Rd., and Kaliste Saloom Rd. on Lafayette’s south side.

Here’s another crazy number – Lafayette regulations state the combined hospital / medical office complex have 1,396 parking spaces.  Plans call for about 1,500 slots.  Parts of the facility could open in 2011.

Office Depot Progress on La. Ave.


Lafayette’s third Office Depot location is moving forward at the new Louisiana Avenue / I-10 shopping center. The Target-anchored center is almost full, with JCPenney, PETCO and other smaller stores now open.

Office Depot filed for a $200,000 permit to build-out the new store (the walls and roof are already up, this will outfit the stores with shelves, counters, etc.). Office Depot already has stores on Pinhook Rd. and Johnston St. Lafayette’s lone Office Max closed about a year ago when that chain closed a slew of stores.

New CVS on Ambassador
April 11, 2009, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Acadiana Retail, New Commercial Development, New Construction | Tags: ,

A national drug chain is building at what will become one of Lafayette’s newest busy interesections.  CVS applied for, and was issued a permit to build in the 5400 block of Ambassador Caffery.  If you plug that address into mapquest you won’t even get a location.  That’s because the block doesn’t exist… yet.  The store looks like it will be at the intersection of Ambassador and Verot School Road.  Right now, Ambassador ends at the intersection, but work is underway to extend the road more than 6 miles to Hwy. 90 near Broussard. 

The $1.6 million store will be just a few blocks from another new-ish CVS in River Ranch.  In the past few years, the major drug chains have been snapping up high-profile corner lots.  They know that aging baby boomers will soon need even more drugs, and they’re preparing for the future.  However, a national retail source tells me the drug store building boom is almost over.  Most of the companies are trying to weather the current economic storm.

A Walgreen’s is already well under construction nearby at the corner of Johnston and Duhon Road, near the new library south of the Mall.

Pizzeria Venti Opens
February 11, 2009, 1:49 pm
Filed under: New Commercial Development, New Construction, Restaurants | Tags: ,

Finally, the first tenant in the new shopping center at Pinhook and Kaliste Saloon has opened. Pizzeria Venti is a pizza-by-the-slice chain that is a welcome non fast food / plate lunch spot in the neighborhood.

The pizza is served in rectangles instead of the more traditional triangle, and about 15 varieties are offered. I went for lunch today and the pizza was pretty good. It’s between Papa John’s and Dean-o’s. My lunch companion had a walnut apple salad which she liked.

It looks like workers are building out neighboring spaces, but I’m not sure what will go in those spots.

Rouses Opens in YoungsVegas*
January 29, 2009, 3:36 pm
Filed under: New Commercial Development, New Construction | Tags: , ,

This morning (Thursday) at 8am Rouses opened the Louisiana-based grocery chain’s newest store in Youngsville.  The store is the first major retail component of the Sugar Mill Pond development, and is located at the corner of Hwy. 92 and the new Youngsville Pkwy.  These pictures are from Wednesday, when the parking lot was likely full of vendors and employees getting ready for the opening.

This is Rouses first Acadiana store.  The chain was founded in Thibodaux in 1923, and until recently only had a presence in the Bayou area of Houma/Thibodaux/Morgan City.  Post-Katrina, Rouses bought the Sav-a-Center chain’s stores in the New Orleans area, and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Rouses prides itself on a wide selection of Louisiana products – including specialty meats and seafood.

I think Rouses has a great Wal-Mart fighting formula.  Too many national grocery chains have gone out of business because they tried to compete with the major discount super-centers.  The chains that will survive are going to be the ones that do something different, and do it well.  The Rouses in the New Orleans area seem to be doing well – and I think the Youngsville store will thrive – despite nearby competition (Wal-Mart and Albertson’s on Hwy. 90).  I’m sure they’d like to build a Lafayette store (maybe River Ranch?), but I’d imagine land prices are near much higher Youngsville prices.

Next to the store is a sign for a proposed strip shopping center, but I am surprised to not see any out-parcel / pad sites in front of the store on Hwy. 92.  I’m not sure if they had any land limitations fitting into Sugar Mill Pond.

*I sometimes like to refer to Youngsville as YoungsVegas for two reasons.  One, the name fits the area’s gold rush, build-it-and-they-will-come vibe.  The other reason is of course it just sounds funny. 

QUESTION: Do you think Rouses will make it in Youngsville?  Have you been to the store – what’s it like?  Leave a comment below.