Sprouts supermarket signs lease to build first Louisiana location at Rouzan

The Phoenix company that operates Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. has signed a lease to open a grocery store in the planned Village Center at Rouzan.

According to documents filed Jan. 3 with the East Baton Rouge Parish Clerk of Court, SFM LLC signed a lease in October 2017 with Village Center Partners LLC, which is owned by Tommy Spinosa.

SFM is the trading symbol for Sprouts Farmers Market, which is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Spinsoa is the original developer of Rouzan and still retains the four-acre parcel on which the supermarket will be developed. He recently sold the rest of the 100-acre Traditional Neighborhood Development to a team of investors led by John Engquist, Charles Landry and Todd Waguespack.

According to the court documents, Sprouts has signed a 15-year lease with Spinosa and will be the anchor tenant in the shopping center at the Village Center, which will comprise a portion of the commercial development at Rouzan.

Sprouts is a full-service supermarket chain that specializes in organic and health foods, and fresh, prepared meals. It offers full-service deli, seafood, butcher and bakery departments at its nearly 300 locations across the U.S., the first of which opened in 2002. The Rouzan location would be the company’s first in Louisiana.

A spokeswoman for the company declines to comment on the lease or Sprouts’ plans for Baton Rouge. Spinosa has referred all comment to Engquist and Landry. Reached this morning, Landry declines to comment.

The lease agreement with Sprouts, a high-end, full-service grocer, should put to rest concerns of some Southdowns residents, who have worried for years about the tenant mix for the planned shopping center at Rouzan and speculated it might include a convenience store or gas station.

Lease restrictions at the Village Center include discount and dollar stores, dry cleaners, automotive dealers or repair shops, car washes, thrift stores, and bars or nightclubs, among other uses, according to Sprouts’ lease agreement with Spinosa.

The lease does not say when construction might begin or when the store might open. In a recent earnings call with investors, Sprouts executives said several new locations are planned for 2018, though Baton Rouge was not specifically mentioned.

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