The H Mart project, estimated to cost $28 million, would be completed in mid-to-late 2025.
H Mart is the largest U.S.-based supermarket chain specializing in Asian groceries and housewares with more than 97 stores in 14 states including six in Texas, according to H Mart’s website. It has local stores in Plano and Carrollton.
The city’s economic development staff is recommending the council approve the project and said the office of economic development has been working with H Mart for more than seven years.
It would be the second time this year that the council approved funds for a supermarket. Tom Thumb’s proposed store in RedBird redevelopment in April was approved for $5.25 million in incentives. Kroger was granted $2 million in incentives in 2021 to build a store northeast of downtown on N. Hall Street, but pulled its plans in April.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the deal next Wednesday, June 14, and discussed the proposal Tuesday during the council’s economic development committee meeting.
Dallas City Council member Omar Narvaez, whose district includes Koreatown, said during the meeting that he supports the H Mart proposal.
”H Mart is not just a grocery store, it’s a shopping experience with other businesses inside, a bank, salons, a shoe store,” he said. The second level of the building, which will be gutted and rebuilt on the inside, has room for office tenants.
Koreatown generates the same level of revenue from taxes as the city’s largest shopping center, NorthPark Center, he said. “Koreatown is also an important asset.”
A 7.6-acre site and 143,200-square-foot building at 2534 Royal Lane has been underutilized or vacant for several years, the report to the council said. The existing building was constructed in 1966 and is a short walk from the Royal Lane Dart train station.
Zoning already allows for a food store.
The city’s Urban Design Peer Review Panel recommended some parking improvements, generous sidewalks and landscaping, including a pedestrian corridor from Harry Hines Boulevard that parallels Royal.
To receive city incentives, the store has to sign a 15-year lease and occupy a minimum of 70,000 square feet. The store has to open by June 30, 2026 and 40% of the staff must live in Dallas.
The Korean Chamber of Commerce had been trying to designate a 1.6-mile stretch of Royal Lane as Dallas’ official “Koreatown” for some time.
The Dallas City Council in January recognized the northwest Dallas corridor between Luna Road and Harry Hines as Koreatown. A resolution seeking the same designation authored by Rep. Rafael Anchía was signed in May by Gov. Greg Abbott.