Asian grocer 99 Ranch Market will open at Samanea New York mall...

Asian grocer 99 Ranch Market will open at Samanea New York mall in Westbury on April 9. Credit: Samanea New York

Asian grocer 99 Ranch Market’s entrée into New York State will be this month on Long Island.

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 are looking forward to catering to the local and Asian Long Island communities by providing the highest quality and freshest merchandise at an affordable price. To Asian Americans residing on Long Island, we are their home away from home. To all other ethnic groups, we are the link 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, and fresh produce and meat.

The 99 Ranch stores feature food from various 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 excited to welcome 99 Ranch to Samanea NY and couldn’t be more thrilled that this nationally recognized, authentic food market chose us as its first location to the New York market," Dominic Coluccio, Samanea’s chief leasing and development officer, said in the statement. He said the store complements the property’s "unique tenant make-up.”

Nassau County’s Asian population grew 60.6% to 164,201 residents between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. 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 increased 29% to 65,779 from 2010 to 2020, according to census data.  Asian residents accounted for 4.3% of the county’s total population in 2020.

"The population changes in Long Island is absolutely one of the reasons that we decided to spread our branch there, but more importantly, we would love to reach out to more non-Asian customers and communities as well," Lane said. 

The Westbury supermarket will include an Eat Up Food Court with five or six Asian restaurants that will sublease space from 99 Ranch, Lane said. They will include River Sushi, Chinese eatery 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 that was vacated by Circuit City in 2009.  The grocery store will be the second-largest anchor in the mall, 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 long-struggling mall for $92 million in 2017.

Lesso completed a $30 million renovation of the mall 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, by turning it into a “lifestyle destination” with more restaurant, entertainment and home furnishings tenants than clothing and shoe stores. 

The goal is to differentiate it from other malls on Long Island and to help shield it from the online retail competition that has challenged brick-and-mortar retail, mall officials have 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.

Tenants coming in 2022 include indoor golf franchise X-Golf, family entertainment center Empire Adventure Park, membership-based crafting center Let’s Craft, and three restaurants — MoCa Asian Bistro, Szechuan Cuisine and K-Pot, a Korean hotpot and barbecue eatery.

The Gravity Vault, an indoor rock-climbing gym franchise, will open in 2023.

At this point, 67% of the mall’s space is occupied or leased for occupancy.

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