Stein

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Update, 10:15 a.m.: Stein Mart said Thursday that it decided not to renew the lease on its Uptown New Orleans store because it wasn't doing enough business.

"We are at the end of our lease term and unfortunately the store was not meeting our expectations," said Linda Tasseff, director of investor relations for the discount retail chain.

"We appreciate the loyal customers that have supported our New Orleans store, opened in 1988, and hope they will continue to shop at our other area stores."

Original Story: The Stein Mart store at the Riverside Market shopping center on Tchoupitoulas Street will close in February, while the large space next door that was formerly occupied by a Walgreens drugstore is being converted into an Ochsner Health System clinic.

The center’s property manager referred questions about the Stein Mart closure to the Jacksonville, Florida-based discount retailer, which did not return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

The manager referred questions about potential future tenants to the center’s out-of-state owner, who could not be reached for comment.

Arnold Cooper, president of DBIC Property Management Inc., said the 146,000-square-foot center is 97 percent leased, though that figure includes the 31,000 square feet now occupied by Stein Mart.

Employees were telling customers Tuesday that the store would be closing in February, and signs announced that everything was on sale.

The publicly owned retailer's other three locations in the New Orleans metro area — on West Esplanade Avenue in Kenner, on Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie and on Emerald Road in Mandeville — will remain open, according to employees there.

Cooper said the Ochsner clinic, which will include 19 treatment rooms and space and equipment for cardiac rehabilitation, should be open by the summer. The conversion of that 13,000-square-foot space is a $2.7 million project, according to building permits.

Cooper said a new tenant will soon be announced for the 2,800-square-foot space formerly occupied by McAlister’s Deli, leaving only an 1,100-square-foot space empty.

Riverside Market’s other major tenants include Winn-Dixie and Petco.

Editor's note: This story was altered on Dec. 28, 2017, to reflect the correct year that Stein Mart opened its New Orleans store. 

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.