Matherne’s Market to anchor LSU Nicholson Gateway Project

Matherne’s Market will be the new retail anchor tenant of LSU’s Nicholson Gateway Project, a mixed-use development of student housing, restaurant and retail space currently under construction on a 28-acre site on Nicholson Drive, between West Chimes Street and Skip Bertman Drive.

The new 17,000-square foot market will be similar in size and merchandise mix to Matherne’s downtown location, which opened in December 2014 on the ground floor of 440 on Third with an emphasis on fresh and prepared foods, and specialty items.

“We kind of felt like this would fit our new format, like we did downtown,” says Ernie Matherne, who, with his son, Tony, will own the new store. “We’ve decided in the future we would do these smaller format, fresh and specialty type operations, and this fit well.”

The Matherne family also owns supermarkets in Paulina and LaPlace.

Matherne’s is the first of several tenants planned for the 50,000-square-foot retail component of Nicholson Gateway, which will also include some 763 units of apartment style housing for more than 1,500 students with associated residential support areas, such as lounge spaces, study areas, and community gathering places. Several other tenants—primarily fast casual restaurants—will be announced in the coming weeks, once leases have been finalized, LSU officials say.

“We are excited to offer our new student residents access to a well-established local grocery store, just steps from their apartment doors,” says LSU Assistance Vice President of Residential Life and Housing Steve Waller.

Matherne’s will join a crowded submarket of grocery stores near the LSU campus. A Winn-Dixie is located 2.5 miles away at Burbank and Lee drives. A Walmart Neighborhood Market is less than two miles away at Highland Road and Lee Drive, and a new Rouses Supermarket is under construction on Burbank Drive less than three miles away.

Matherne doesn’t see any of those big-box supermarkets as direct competitors, however, and says his smaller market will directly service the on-campus community.

“This is a totally different animal,” he says. “We’re concentrating on the immediate area—students, faculty, and the residents in that area.”

The new Matherne’s is scheduled to open this fall with the completion of the Nicholson Gateway Project.

—Stephanie Riegel

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