The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development announced on Aug. 3 that a New Jersey-based grocery chain will sublease a long-vacant, 42,000-square-foot space in the Oceanview Village Shopping Center.
H-Mart, which specializes in Asian and international foods, has 90 locations nationwide and 12 locations in California, according to an OEWD press release. The company opened its first Bay Area location in San Jose in April 2017.
H-Mart will spend $8.5 million to make capital improvements and renovations to the Ocean View Village location, with construction expected to last one year, according to OEWD.
The store will offer high quality fresh produce, poultry, seafood, ready-to-cook items, a food court and housewares at consumer friendly prices, according to OEWD.
“H-Mart would like to give special thanks to San Francisco and the surrounding communities for welcoming our store, we will prepare hard every day to serve our customers and to exceed their expectations beyond our opening,” Sam Kim, director of marketing at H-Mart, stated.
The news of an agreement was long-awaited for residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.
For the past five years, OEWD, neighborhood activists and local politicians have struggled to find new tenants to fill several vacant commercial spaces in the shopping center.
Marc Christensen, president of the Merced Extension Triangle Neighborhood Association, said that residents are excited for the new store and plan to work with H-Mart to help the location thrive.
“The community is very positive. I’ve received five or six calls from residents since we announced the news [in the METNA newsletter] this weekend,” Christensen said on Monday.
The struggle to fill the space frustrated OEWD officials, who viewed the large vacant space as the most effective way to offer healthier food options to residents of the Ocean View, Merced Heights and METNA neighborhoods.
In 2002, Albertsons signed a 25-year lease for the 42,168-square-foot space, paying $84,336 per month, according to OEWD emails obtained through a public records request.
Under the agreement, H-Mart will sublease the space from Albertsons, according to OEWD.
“We’re excited to welcome H-Mart to the Oceanview neighborhood, bringing good jobs to the community, ensuring families here have access to healthy, fresh, affordable foods, and activating Oceanview Village with new purpose and vitality,” OEWD Director Joaquín Torres stated.