Korean-American grocery chain to expand SF location

H Mart plans to add 27K sf to its market and food court in Ingleside Heights

H-Mart CEO Il Yeon Kwon with 3995 Alemany Boulevarde (H-Mart)
H Mart CEO Il Yeon Kwon with 3995 Alemany Boulevarde (H Mart)

Grocer H Mart has filed plans to expand its Korean-American market in San Francisco a year after it opened in Ingleside Heights.

The New Jersey-based ethnic market plans to lease another 27,200 square feet by expanding into a vacant gym at Oceanview Village Shopping Center at 3995 Alemany Blvd., the San Francisco Business Times reported.

The expansion by more than 50 percent into a former 24 Hour Fitness comes after it set up shop in a 47,000-square-foot retail space and food court in April 2021.

It also underscores the popularity of the brand, a source of Asian staples located just off of Interstate 280. Critics have called it a “full on snack attack,” with an “aisle of noodle insanity.”

For H Mart, the expansion means an extra 5,300 square feet of ground-floor space at its Ingleside store, plus another 21,800 square feet in the basement and 57 more reserved parking spots.

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The firm aims to add food tenants at the store’s ground-level food court, plus dry products in the basement.

Oceanview Village Shopping Center is owned by Citivest Commercial Investments, based in Newport Beach. The former 24 Hour Fitness space has been vacant for two years.

Michael Mossman, a construction and development director for Citivest, told the Business Times that H Mart plans a “completely new buildout” of the space to connect it to the existing store. No timeline was given for construction.

H Mart, founded in 1982 in Queens, New York, has nearly 100 stores across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., according to its website, including two other Bay Area locations in San Jose. It hit the mainstream with a memoir by Japanese Breakfast musician Michelle Zauner entitled “Crying in H Mart.”

Elsewhere in Oceanview Village, Vietnamese American chain 7 Leaves Café recently leased 1,850 square feet for its first San Francisco location. The center is also fielding interest from potential retailers for three available storefronts, Mossman said.

— Dana Bartholomew