Asian Grocer leases 45K SF in Westbury

99 Ranch Market (Samanea New York, iStock)

A Long Island mall is looking to reduce its high vacancy rate from just a few months ago by tapping a popular Asian grocery chain for its first New York location.

California-based 99 Ranch Market is opening a 45,000 square foot location in the Samanea New York mall in Westbury. The company is only the second new tenant to come to the mall in more than two decades.

The store signed a 15-year lease in April 2020, but was unable to begin construction in the former Circuit City space until January 2021; financial terms of the lease were not disclosed. The grocery store is due to open on April 9.

Bloomingdale’s Furniture Outlet is the other recent addition to the mall, which will open in September 2020. The new 99 Ranch location will be the mall’s second anchor tenant, behind Dave & Buster’s.

The company was founded in 1984 and has 56 stores in the United States. It sells dry groceries, produce, meat, seafood, deli items, baked goods, and items centered around Chinese cuisine. A food court is also planned for the market.

The company aims to position itself as a “home away from home” for Asian Americans and a “connection…to experience and learn about Asian cultures” for other ethnic groups.

The property at 1500 Country Road recently underwent a $30 million renovation, creating two new main exterior entrances. Mall owners are hoping the latest opening is a sign that the mall may be changing course.

Samanea previously had Long Island’s highest vacancy rate at 35%, or one-third of the mall’s 750,000 square feet, Newsday reported in November. According to the outlet, the mall’s vacancy rate has since fallen to 33%.

Negotiations were reportedly underway in November for 22% of the mall’s unleased space, as indoor golf franchise X-Golf and Empire Adventure Park prepared to move in. Empire Adventure Park signed a 10-year lease for 35,000 square feet last year, part of the mall’s ambitions to pivot into a destination for lifestyle brands.

Luz W. German