It's been nearly three years in the making, but come late July, Trong Lam, who already owns two Pacific Ocean Marketplace supermarkets, one in Denver and a second in Broomfield, will unleash a 100,000-square-foot, Asian food-centric development in Aurora, 57,000 square feet of which will be devoted to a third Pacific Ocean supermarket, twice the size, says Lam, of his existing stores, which are dedicated to Asian products.
See also: Twelve best Thai restaurants in Denver
"In general, our stores carry mostly Asian foods, but in this particular location, we're going to carry more international foods -- Russian, Indian, Middle Eastern and African -- and we'll also have a deli section with seating, a to-go area and a sushi kiosk," reveals Lam, adding that its behemoth size will make it the largest seafood supermarket and Asian market in Colorado. The seafood section alone, he notes, is 10,000 square feet, and along with cases displaying seafood and fish, Lam also plans to build a 22-foot-long, nine-foot-high seafood tank pool with live lobsters, crabs, oysters, clams, crawfish and other species of seafood, some of it, he says, that will be "very rare."
The $9 million development project, located at the intersection of East Mississippi Avenue and South Peoria Street, spans an entire block, and of the eighteen tenants that have signed leases, six of them are restaurants: Thai Mile High, which Lam says is a "traditional Thai restaurant"; Nanu Nanu Noodle, a ramen-ya; San Dong, a Chinese restaurant; Mr. Kim Korean BBQ; an outpost of Deli Zone and Kim Ba, which is relocating from its current location at 2495 South Havana Street. And while 90 percent of the spaces are leased, Lam says that he's still looking for one or two more restaurants.
"We want to have as many different kinds of restaurants as possible and hopefully be the epicenter of specialty Asian food in Aurora," stresses Lam. "The population of the Asian community, at least compared to the rest of the Denver metro area, is very high in Aurora, and the demand for good Asian food is really high, too, and we want to be the place where customers can come and get their Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean food all in one place," he adds.
Pacific Market will be the first tenant to open in the new marketplace, and the restaurants, says Lam, will stagger their openings based on construction schedules, but they should all be open by the fall.
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Here's an early peek at the development.