AURORA | The owner of Denver-based Pacific Ocean Market Place plans to build a third location of his franchise in Aurora which he expects to be open in summer 2013, pending Aurora City Council approval in September.
Owner Trong Lam plans to redevelop the vacant Albertson’s grocery store at the intersection of East Mississippi Avenue and South Peoria Street to create a 40,000-square-foot Asian supermarket that’s bigger than his two current locations in Denver and Broomfield.
Lam said he chose the Aurora location because of its proximity to Interstate 225 and the city’s diverse population.
“In Aurora, the Asian population is a little bit higher compared with other locations,” he said. “It’s time for us to expand over there.”
He said he hopes the business will revitalize the area. The supermarket sells Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean and Indian food and products.
The development project costs more than $9 million and Lam said he expects to employ about 50 people, most of whom will be Aurora residents.
He did not want to comment on whether he would be receiving tax rebates from the city to help offset the cost of development because he’s still in negotiations with city staff. According to city documents, though, council members did discuss negotiations concerning a development incentive in their executive session on Aug. 27. Multiple sources familiar with those negotiations said city lawmakers discussed the market at that session.
Council members will finalize negotiations with Lam next month. Lam began the process of filing site plans with the city’s planning department in May.
Lam, who opened the first Pacific Ocean Market Place at 2200 W. Alameda Ave. in Denver in 1989, said he has had financial success despite the economic downturn. In 2005, he opened a second location at 6600 W. 120th Ave. in Broomfield and since then, revenue at the Broomfield branch has increased by 10 percent year over year.
Councilwoman Marsha Berzins said there’s no other Asian market similar to Lam’s business in the city. She said she’s thrilled that Lam plans to take over the former Albertson’s, which has been vacant for at least three years.
“I’m excited to have a nice project like that come into the area, and I think it’ll be an anchor for that area,” said Berzins, whose ward includes the development project.
Aurora resident Arnie Schultz, who lives in the Village East neighborhood near the proposed development, said he’s looking forward to the business opening.
“It should be a good business,” he said. “It’s going to clean up that site.”
Reach reporter Sara Castellanos at 720-449-9036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.