Rouses Market has agreement for first BR store

Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Amber Benson ices down the seafood counter last year at a Rouses in Lafayette. Rouses has a purchase agreement on a piece of land at Long Farm Village, the traditional neighborhood development bounded by Barringer Foreman Road, Jefferson Highway and Airline Highway in Baton Rouge.
Advocate staff file photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Amber Benson ices down the seafood counter last year at a Rouses in Lafayette. Rouses has a purchase agreement on a piece of land at Long Farm Village, the traditional neighborhood development bounded by Barringer Foreman Road, Jefferson Highway and Airline Highway in Baton Rouge.

Rouses Market has a purchase agreement with developer Russell Mosely for a five-acre parcel in the Long Farm Village development and is planning to open a 55,000-square-foot supermarket fronting Airline Highway in 2014.

Mosely said Rouses will be the anchor for the 35-acre retail portion of the development, which is on 237 acres of farmland bounded by Barringer Foreman Road, Jefferson Highway and Airline Highway.

The property was once owned by Mosely’s grandfather, former U.S. Sen. Russell Long.

“I think they’re a perfect fit,” Mosely said. “It’s a Louisiana-based grocery store and they offer a lot of the best Louisiana products. Anybody who has been to a Rouses store will say it’s a very well-run operation. It will be a great draw for Baton Rouge and the Long Farm project.”

Donny Rouse, managing partner of Rouses, said he is not ready to comment on the deal. He said the Thibodaux independent grocer is still looking at ultimately having three stores in the Baton Rouge market, a plan he spoke about in an interview last year.

Rouses has been building stores in its new upscale format in cities throughout the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast in recent years, though Baton Rouge remained without one. Rouse said last year, however, that 2013 would see Rouses begin to move into the market.

The land Rouses has under contract at Long Farm is part of the driving range on the property. Mosely said the deal is scheduled to close by the end of the month.

Construction of the store and parking lot will be followed by more retail construction at Long Farm. The development ultimately will have about 600,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and office space, an as-yet undefined “civic” component, and 425 single-family homes and 40 townhomes on 120 acres.

Mosely said there are 65 single-family lots under development and construction on those homes will begin in about a month.

He said another filing consisting of 56 lots will get under way soon.

Residents could begin moving into Long Farm in the next six months, he said.