H Mart, an Asian grocery chain based in New Jersey, is replacing Nordstrom Rack at the old Broadacres Building in downtown Seattle.
The plan is to begin work on the store this fall and open in the first quarter of 2014.
H Mart, which already has locations in Federal Way and Lynnwood, also aims to open a store in Bellevue, though it has not yet said where or when. A third regional store opens this week in Lakewood.
The downtown H Mart, at Second Avenue and Pine Street, will be significantly smaller than a typical suburban location.
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Joana Chong, a marketing consultant for H Mart, said the store will offer more prepared foods to attract a growing number of downtown office workers, as well as tourists and residents.
Last spring, Nordstrom Rack moved a few blocks east along Pine Street to Westlake Center after 25 years at the Broadacres Building, where it was spread across four floors. The move gave the clothing discounter more selling space and a simpler layout.
H Mart will take a portion of the empty space, mostly in the basement, for a total of about 15,000 square feet.
H Mart — whose name is short for “Han Ah Reum,” or “one arm full of groceries” in Korean — chose the former Rack space because of its proximity to Pike Place Market and the downtown retail core, said John Speirs, senior vice president with KG Investment Management, which oversees the Broadacres Building for Principal Financial.
“They recognize that more and more people are living and working downtown, and the traffic flow from the retail core to the market is a great opportunity for them,” Speirs said.
He said 15,000 square feet of additional retail space remains available. He’s talking with several potential tenants but has made no deals, he said.
Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @amyemartinez.