The Asian grocer 99 Ranch Market’s entry into New York State will be on Long Island this month.
The chain will open its first supermarket in the state at Samanea New York, formerly called The Mall at the Source, in Westbury on April 9.
“We look forward to serving the needs of Long Island’s local and Asian communities by providing the highest quality, freshest produce at an affordable price. For Asian Americans residing on Long Island, we are their second home. For all other ethnic groups, we are the nexus for you to experience and learn about Asian cultures,” 99 Ranch said in a statement Wednesday.
Founded in 1984 by Taiwanese immigrant Roger Chen, the California-based retailer is a full-service grocer that sells a variety of Asian foods, common shelf-stable American brands, as well as fresh produce and meats.
99 Ranch stores offer food from a variety of Asian cultures and regions, including Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Southeast Asian, spokeswoman Tracy Lane said.
California parent company
The chain and its parent company, Tawa Supermarket Inc., are based in Buena Park, California.
Nearly 70% of 99 Ranch’s 55 stores are in California. Other stores are in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.
Samanea New York signed a 15-year lease with 99 Ranch in April 2020, according to the mall.
“We are thrilled to welcome 99 Ranch to Samanea NY and couldn’t be more thrilled that this nationally recognized authentic food market has chosen us as their premier location in the New York market,” said Dominic Coluccio, Director rental and development of Samanea. He said the store complements the property’s “unique tenant mix.”
Nassau County’s Asian population grew 60.6% to 164,201 between 2010 and 2020, according to the US Census Bureau. The county had the fifth-largest share of Asian residents, 11.8%, among the state’s 62 counties in 2020.
Suffolk County’s Asian population grew 29% to 65,779 from 2010 to 2020, according to census data. Asian residents made up 4.3% of the county’s total population in 2020.
“The population changes on Long Island are absolutely one of the reasons we decided to expand our branch there, but more importantly, we would like to reach more non-Asian customers and communities as well,” said Lane.
The Westbury supermarket will include an Eat Up food court with five or six Asian restaurants that will sublet space at 99 Ranch, Lane said. They will include River Sushi, Chinese restaurant Shanghai Yu Garden, Vietnamese restaurant Pho Grand and Coco, a milk tea shop.
Former Circuit City space
The supermarket will occupy 45,602 square feet of space vacated by Circuit City in 2009. The grocery store will be the mall’s second-largest anchor, after Dave & Buster’s, which occupies 46,661 square feet.
Located at 1500 Old Country Road, the mall opened in 1997.
Lesso Mall Development Long Island Inc., a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Lesso Group Holdings Ltd., bought the struggling mall for $92 million in 2017.
Lesso completed a $30 million mall renovation in March 2021 and changed the property’s name to Samanea New York.
Lesso is trying to revamp the 750,000 square foot mall, which has had a high vacancy rate for years, turning it into a ‘lifestyle destination’ with more restaurant, entertainment and home furnishing tenants than clothing and shoe stores.
The goal is to differentiate it from other malls on Long Island and help protect it from online retail competition that has challenged physical retail, mall officials said.
The mall currently has only nine tenants, including The Cheesecake Factory, Fortunoff Backyard Store, Leon Banilivi Rugs, Bloomingdale’s Furniture Outlet, Kawai Piano Outlet, Leonardo Furniture, kitchen retailer MyPlanet Living Center and Arteco Cabinetry.
Upcoming tenants in 2022 include indoor golf franchise X-Golf, Empire Adventure Park family entertainment center, Let’s Craft center and three restaurants – MoCa Asian Bistro, Szechuan Cuisine and K-Pot, a restaurant korean hotpot and barbecue.
The Gravity Vault, an indoor climbing gym franchise, will open in 2023.
At this point, 67% of the mall space is occupied or leased for occupancy.