Auto Zone closes on Airline Hwy site for New Store

AutoZone Development Corp. closed late last week on a 2.29-acre site off Airline Highway, across the street from the Home Depot at 8181 Airline Highway, at a price of $775,000, or roughly $7.75 per square foot. AutoZone plans to build a 30,000-square-foot store on the site—much larger than the typical 7,000- to 9,000-square-foot store for the Memphis-based chain—which will serve as a prototype and regional hub for stores in the Baton Rouge metro area. A 7,000-square-foot retail store will adjoin a 23,000-square-foot warehouse distribution storage facility on the site, says Austin Earhart of Beau Box Commercial Real Estate, who represented AutoZone in the deal. With the new store as a regional hub, if you go to the AutoZone on Florida Boulevard and they are out of the headlight you need, you can pay for the headlight and they will deliver it to you at any location from the regional warehouse on Airline. This helps AutoZone retain the sale and discourages the customer from going down the street to another parts supplier. According to Earhart, such facilities are being constructed all over the country, and AutoZone chose this spot on Airline—near the intersection of Florida Boulevard—because of its central location in the metro area and its access to major throughways and and the interstate system. The new store should be under construction sometime within the next three months. AutoZone bought the property from Goodwood Tourist Court LLC, which was represented in the deal by Darryl Gissel of Oak Real Estate.