Hi Nabor to open Broadmoor Village store

Hi Nabor is shifting one of its Baton Rouge stores from Drusilla Village Shopping Center to the Broadmoor Village Shopping Center.

Jim Crifasi, president of Hi Nabor, said Thursday that he signed a lease for a 23,000-square-foot space in the center, at Florida Boulevard and Cora Drive. Plans are to add another 5,000 square feet to the back of the store. That compares with the 19,000-square-foot Drusilla store.

“We’re hoping to be open Aug. 31,” Crifasi said.

Crifasi announced earlier this week that Hi Nabor was leaving Drusilla Village in August after he was unable to come to terms on a lease, “which would allow us to maintain the low prices we pride ourselves in offering our customers.”

A LeBlanc’s Frais Marche supermarket will move into the Drusilla space in August and is scheduled to open in the fall.

Plans are to relocate the 60 Hi Nabor employees at Drusilla to Broadmoor. “We’re going to transition from one store to another,” Crifasi said. During the period when the Drusilla and Broadmoor stores are closed, employees will work at the other two Hi Nabor stores on Winbourne Avenue and Jones Creek Drive.

The Broadmoor store will be more like the Jones Creek location, with an expanded perishables section and deli, Crifasi said.

“We’re real excited about showing that area what we can do,” he said.

Hi Nabor has been in business for more than 50 years, when Crifasi’s father and uncle opened a store on Winbourne Avenue in 1963. The Jones Creek store opened in 1982 and the Drusilla store opened in 1992. The chain prides itself on fresh meat, homegrown produce, Louisiana seafood and low prices.

Broadmoor Village was renovated about three years ago. Austin Earhart, an agent with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate who is handling leasing for the center, said bringing in a grocery store was one of the goals of the redevelopment. “It’s been a long time coming,” he said.

Earhart said the space was marketed to a variety of grocery store chains over the years, but many were scared off by the Wal-Mart Supercenter at nearby Cortana Mall or the Albertsons in Hammond Aire Plaza. “Finally, this works for Hi Nabor,” he said.

Earhart said Hi Nabor has experience with attracting people from different neighborhoods to its stores. That will help in getting customers from nearby Broadmoor and Sherwood Forest.

Planet Fitness is the other major tenant in Broadmoor Village, and Earhart said he’s talking to a hardware store about moving in.

“We’re excited to have them,” he said. “Any time you have a grocery store anchor, there’s a lot more traffic for the center, because you have customers coming daily or at least weekly.”

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.