A nearly 3-acre site in the Costco parking lot is under a sales contract, with plans to build an Ashley Furniture HomeStore off Airline Highway near Interstate 12.
Olinde Hardware and Supply Co. LLC, the parent company of Olinde’s Furniture and the operator of seven Ashley Furniture stores in south Louisiana, is set to pay $1.35 million for land behind the fuel pumps at Costco, said Mark Hebert, of Kurz & Hebert Commercial Real Estate. Hebert represented Olinde’s in the deal.
A 35,000-square-foot store will be built on the site. While Ashley has locations in Denham Springs, Gonzales, Harahan and Ponchatoula, it doesn’t have a store in Baton Rouge.
“This will round it out,” said Tom Olinde, president of the company. “Ashley is the largest furniture manufacturer in the world and the largest furniture retailer in the world. What they do matches up really well.”
The new store will be about five minutes from Olinde’s flagship Airline Highway store. While there’s always a concern of cannibalizing business, Olinde said the store has managed to exist with several Ashley stores within a 30- to 40-minute drive along the interstate. “We carry a lot more lines than Ashley, so there should be a product for just about every customer between the two of these stores,” he said.
Ashley will be a “good co-tenant” and help drive traffic to Costco, which has a limited furniture selection, Hebert said. The store will have its own parking spots and a pylon sign on the property that will be visible from Interstate 12.
“It will be a traffic generator,” he said. “And when you turn out of the fuel station, you’ll be looking right at Ashley Furniture.”
The plan is to get the site for Ashley Furniture approved before the sale goes through. Construction on the store should begin in early 2018, Olinde said.