After years of planning, A Robért Fresh Market is expected to open in the Marigny within the next few months, and serve as a much-needed fresh food hub.
The market will be constructed at 2222 St. Claude Avenue. Demolition of part of the 2222 St. Claude building will begin in either late January or early February, and construction of the market will begin tomorrow, January 26, according to Marc L. Robért II, owner of Robért Fresh market.
The finished market, designed by Trapolin Peer Architects, will be around 26,000 square feet. The market will have an additional 15,000 square feet of commercial space for lease. According to Robért, the market can see as few as six, or as many as 7 tenants. Potential tenants for the Robert’s Fresh market have not be disclosed.
The new market will take the place of a blighted supermarket property that has been out of operation since Hurricane Katrina. Schweggman Giant Supermarket, the 2222 St. Claude Avenue property, opened as a self-service Supermarket in 1946.
According to Nola.com, Robért Fresh Market took over the Giant Supermarket space in the 1990s until Hurricane Katrina. The property was then under litigation, regarding disputes and storm damage until 2014.
The construction and renovation of the supermarket will cost nearly $7 million. The additional commercial space cost approximately $2.5 million, bringing the total cost of the project to $9.5 million. Robert’s market will take advantage of historic tax credits used since part of the building is planned to be incorporated in the National Register of Historic Places.
The market’s goal is to provide fresh food’s to the Marigny community, which, according to Robért, the neighborhood lacks. Many Marigny Bywater Residents have to go downtown, Mid-City, West bank, or Chalmette for a nearby grocery store with fresh produce.
“We love the community and we had to work through all of the insurance issues to get to this point. It's our kind of store and our kind of neighborhood,” Robert said.
The grocery store is a partnership between the City and Robért’s in the Mayor’s Fresh Food Retailer Initiative. The city’s initiative is designed to increase access to fresh foods in underserved neighborhoods. The program provides financial assistance to supermarkets, grocery stores and retailers that build in neighborhoods in need.