The Maryland-based Asian grocery chain’s 14 stores include one in Orlando and another planned in Tampa.
The owner of the Lotte Plaza Market chain of Asian grocery stores bought the closed Best Buy in the Regency area in January.
Sungwon Distributor LLC of Maryland bought the 45,914-square-foot store on almost 3.4 acres at 9355 Atlantic Blvd.
The store was built in 1999 and Best Buy closed it in March 2021.
SW Jacksonville LLC, led by Sungwon Distributor LLC agent Sang Lee, bought the property Jan. 13 from Canyon Oak Ventures of Los Altos, California.
Canyon Oak sold it as 9355 Atlantic Blvd LLC.
Colliers Executive Director Jason Ryals and Senior Associate Gina Kline in Jacksonville represented the landlord in the transaction.
No acquisition price was recorded with the Duval County Clerk of Courts other than a $10 deed consideration.
Ryals said the purchase price was $4 million.
He said SW Jacksonville’s broker was Daniel Lynch III, a partner with Atlantic Retail Properties in West Palm Beach.
The leaders of Canyon Oak paid almost $6.8 million for the property in 2000 in an acquisition from Best Buy Stores L.P.
The Duval County Property Appraiser assesses the property at $3.5 million for tax purposes.
Lotteplaza.com says that since 1976, Lotte Plaza Market “has strived to be the premier source for Asian groceries in Maryland and Virginia.”
“Our desire to continuously improve customer relations and contribute to the community we serve has helped us grow from a single store in 1989 to 12 locations throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Florida.”
The website shows 14 locations, comprising seven in Maryland, five in Virginia and one each in New Jersey and Florida, in Orlando.
The Orlando store opened in 2019.
Sungwon Distributor LLC is based in Jessup, Maryland. Sung Lee is the CEO.
Its site says it offers “the finest meats, seafood, produce and specialty products from the most popular brands,” especially products used in traditional Asian recipes.
“We strive to provide quality products at affordable prices, and change our selections as our customers’ tastes change. Packaged teas, unique sauces and fresh fruits and vegetables – everything your family needs is here,” it says.
“When you enter Lotte Plaza Market, you’ll feel as if we moved a genuine grocery store from Korea right here to the United States. All the highest quality groceries and specialty products made in Korea are here.”
It says it features Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Philippine and Thai products.
Its goal is to open 50 Lotte Plaza Market locations by 2030.
SW Jacksonville LLC is based at the Maryland headquarters.
Neighborhoodnewsonline.net reported April 17 that Lotte Plaza Market filed plans with the city of Tampa to renovate a former Sweetbay Supermarket.
It said the renovation of the 49,432-square-foot building will include about 11,000 square feet of storage and cooler space.
The site said it will transform “the inside of the former grocery store into a marketplace that sells Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese food items and ingredients, a wide selection of meats and fresh fish and seafood and a huge variety of fruits and vegetables not found at American grocery stores.”
The site said the Lotte Plaza Market will include at least three restaurants in its food court, as well as a bakery and a tea stand.
Plans show renovations will cost about $4.5 million, it reported.
The owners of the chain paid $7 million for the former Sweetbay Market building in January of 2021.
The Sweetbay building closed in 2013 and has been unoccupied since.
The sizes of the Tampa and Jacksonville stores are similar to those of a Publix Super Market or a Winn-Dixie.
Sang Lee registered with the state to do business in Florida.
Lee registered SW Jacksonville LLC in December 2021; SW Tampa LLC in November 2020; and Sungwon Orlando LLC in June 2016.
It appears that it can take a few years for the stores to open.
The Orlando LLC was registered in 2016 and the store opened in 2019.
The Tampa name was registered in November 2020, the building purchase made in January 2021 and the plans filed this year.
The Jacksonville name, filed in December 2021, came the month before the property was purchased.
Source: Jax Daily Record