Rouses Markets buys former Winn-Dixie in Gulfport. What’s in store?

Rouses Markets has purchased the former Winn-Dixie store in Gulfport, just down the street from its Pass Road store.

Garrett Anderson, listing agent for NAI Sawyer realty in Gulfport, said the sale of the former Winn-Dixie store closed Tuesday.

The building at 1444 Pass Road has been for sale since October, he said, and was owned by an investment group out of Destin, Florida.

Anderson said Rouses’ representatives told him the Louisiana-based company will spend millions of dollars renovating the 44,000-square-foot store before the supermarket moves to the new location after the first of the year.

Last year, Rouses spent $3.5 million to totally remodel the Ocean Springs store, giving customers a greatly expanded selection of hot and cold prepared foods along with new lights, display cases and flooring throughout. When that renovation was complete in November, the company announced that a remodel of the Gulfport store would begin in 2018.

The current location of Rouses Markets is 1345 East Pass Road, on the southwest corner of Pass and Cowan roads in the Handsboro Square Shopping Center. The new location is catty-corner, near the northeast corner of the same intersection.

The Gulfport location is one of 56 Rouses Markets operating in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and one of three in South Mississippi, along with Ocean Springs and Diamondhead.

Rouses also began home delivery of groceries in April.

Winn-Dixie’s Pass Road Gulfport store closed in June 2017 and the company announced in March 2018 it would close its Pass Road store in Biloxi and 93 others. The Biloxi Winn-Dixie remains empty.