Drew Brees and Five Guys helping fuel East Jefferson Boom
Don Ames Reporting
The Elmwood Shopping Plaza is in the midst of a 65,000-square-foot expansion that's attracted several national and local retailers to the site.
A number of highly anticipated food outlets are among those who'll call Elmwood home.
Sixteen new businesses are moving into the Plaza, including Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt, and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
"Jimmy John's, Drew Brees' restaurant...they're opening out here, too," says Jefferson Parish District 2 Councilman Paul Johnston. "Where old buffet, the Chinese buffet, used to be. They're moving right behind the 'Fox and the Hound'. They're close to being finished over there now, I think they're going to be open in the next week or so.
Zoe's Kitchen and Theo's Pizza have also signed leases in the two buildings on the south end of the shopping plaza.
The expansion project includes one new building with retail options for women and two buildings focusing on more dining options.
The building with shops geared toward women is now at full occupancy with the committed tenants.
DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse), Ulta Cosmetics, Charming Charlie's (a women's fashion and accessories shop) and Kay Jewelers are among the new tenants that have leased space in the building on the north side of Elmwood's main entrance.
There's still some rental space available in the other two buildings.
In addition, a 4,000 square foot Verizon Wireless flagship store will replace its current smaller Elmwood location.
Some new tenants are already moving in, and the entire expansion should be completed in the next few weeks.
Johnston says the Plaza's becoming a more attractive location as traffic in the area increases.
"The Huey P. Long Bridge development is going to bring a lot of people from the westbank over here," he says.
The widened span is making the cross-river trek a lot less harrowing for motorists.
Johnston says local shoppers are finding the location to be desirable and convenient as well.
"It's right in the middle of the Old Jefferson area and Harahan/River Ridge. And, you've got the Earhardt Expressway right down the block from it," Johnston says.
"And, you can come from New Orleans. You can be at the Elmwood Shopping Center in five minutes from the Carrollton area."
Johnston says it's another gem for Jefferson.
"Lakeside is one of the jewels, but now it's going to be Elmwood. Elmwood's really developing and we still have some property over here they can develop and, hopefully, they will and keep it going. We need the business."
All of this comes amid a boom of business on Veterans Blvd. in Metairie. National chains including Panera Bread, Bonefish, Pei Wei and Buffalo Wild Wings have opened or are building on Vets. Click here for more on that...