Grocery chain H Mart to open Upper East Side location

Popular Korean-American market buys retail condo on East 86th Street for $9M

223 East 86th Street and H Mart CEO Il Yeon Kwon (Getty, H Mart, Google Maps)
223 East 86th Street and H Mart CEO Il Yeon Kwon (Getty, H Mart, Google Maps)

Kimchi lovers rejoice: H Mart is coming to the Upper East Side.

H Mart, The Korean-American specialty grocery chain bought a retail condo at 223 East 86th Street in Yorkville for $9 million with plans to open its next Manhattan location there, according to Vanguard Global Realty’s Enrique Constante and Jordan Mandel, who brokered the deal on behalf of the seller, Michael Appell.

H Mart paid about $1,065 a foot for the roughly 8,500-square-foot retail condo, which sits at the base of a 13-story residential building between Second and Third avenues, more or less across the street from a 45,000-square-foot Fairway location at 240 East 86th Street.

The store won’t appear overnight. H Mart is expected to need about up to six months for capital improvements and the project is still being finalized, according to Constante and Mandel.

H Mart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The grocery chain, known for shelves stocked with everything from instant ramen to Wagyu beef, was founded in Woodside, Queens, in 1982 and is headquartered in New Jersey. Long a staple of Korean-American communities, the chain enjoyed renewed attention with the release of recording artist Michelle Zauner’s best-selling 2021 memoir, “Crying in H Mart.”

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H Mart has roughly 100 locations nationwide, including at least 10 in New York City, according to its website. It has seven shops across Queens and existing Manhattan outposts in Koreatown, the East Village and Morningside Heights.

Late last year, the chain leased 64,000 square feet at 48-18 Northern Boulevard in Sunnyside, where it’s replacing a Stop & Shop that closed in October. H Mart also added its fourth location in California’s Bay Area in September, taking 37,000 square feet as an anchor tenant at a shopping center in Dublin, Alameda County.

Retail rents appear to be rising on the East 86th Street corridor between Lexington and Second avenues, which is home to national chains including Best Buy, H&M and Target. The median asking along that stretch stood at $350 per square foot last fall, according to a REBNY report issued last month, up 15 percent from the spring.