Smashburger, the fast-growing hamburger chain, plans to open its first Baton Rouge location in the late spring on Corporate Boulevard.

The chain signed a lease for the space at 7474 Corporate formerly occupied by Louisiana Pizza Kitchen, said Mark Hebert, with Kurz & Hebert Commercial Real Estate. Hebert represented Corporate Realty, which owns the shopping center. Trios Mexican Bar and Grill, which is currently subleasing the space, will move out and construction will start on the Smashburger location in March.

Smashburger specializes in made-to-order, one-third pound Angus beef burgers. The chain gets its name from the preparation technique, which uses a custom-made tool to smash balls of raw meat into the grill. This sears the bottom of the patty and allows the burgers to cook in their own juices. Along with burgers, the chain sells chicken sandwiches, fries, shakes made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream and local craft beers.

The Denver-based chain has more than 250 locations across the U.S., including restaurants in New Orleans, Shreveport and Bossier City. It has posted double-digit sales growth for seven consecutive years. Smashburger sits in the same fast casual “better burger” niche as Five Guys, Mooyah Burgers Fries & Shakes and Red Robin.

Hebert said it took about six months to get the deal done to bring in Smashburger. Chris Jacob of Persac Properties represented the burger chain.