Store opening planned in late 2014
Construction has begun on the Ambassador Crossing Shopping Center in Lafayette that will count a Whole Foods Market among its tenants.
The Ainbinder Co. said Thursday it broke ground on the 12-acre site at Ambassador Caffery Parkway and Settlers Trace Boulevard for the 108,000-square-foot retail center.
Whole Foods will anchor the shopping center with a 36,200-square foot store, set to open in late 2014.
Other retailers who have committed to Ambassador Crossing include J. Crew, Carter’s Babies & Kids/Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Lee Michaels Jewelers, Massage Envy, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Which Wich and Superior Nails.
Ainbinder, of Houston, said it is negotiating with several upscale fashion and furnishings retailers along with restaurants to take up the remaining space.
“Leasing activity has been very brisk, and the strong economy and retail sales in Lafayette have attracted a lot of tenant interest,” said Bart Duckworth, Ainbinder president.
This will be the fifth Whole Foods in Louisiana, joining locations in Baton Rouge, Metairie and two in New Orleans.
One of the New Orleans stores, on North Broad Street, is set to open later this year.
Ainbinder acquired the land from the Saloom family of Lafayette.
For several years, there has been talk that Whole Foods was interested in opening a store in Lafayette, which has a rich foodie culture. In 2011, Lafayette city-parish officials announced that a Whole Foods would be built on the site of an old Kmart at Ambassador Caffery and Ridge Road. But it later turned out the announcement was prematurely made by a Houston firm attempting to redevelop the Kmart site.
Boucher Design Group of Houston is the architect Ambassador Crossing and Paul Miers Engineering of Lafayette is the project engineer. Parkes Construction of Nashville, Tenn., is the general contractor. Project leasing is being handled by Shaw MacIntyre and Ed James of UCR Moody Rambin Page in Houston.