International real estate company Aoyuan International has launched its first Toronto development – a master-planned community in the culturally-diverse neighbourhood of Newtonbrook which will be home to a new H Mart, a Korean-American supermarket.
The 8.6 acre Newtonbrook Plaza site at Yonge and Finch in Toronto will be transformed into Aoyuan’s largest master-planned community in Canada called M2M. Plans include five residential condo towers, 180,000 square feet of office and retail, a daycare and community centre.
Cherie Chan, Senior Manager, Branding and Marketing, with Aoyuan in Canada, said the supermarket will be 36,000 square feet, fronting at 5803 Yonge Street and the flagship store will include produce, seafood, meat departments, beauty and cosmetic, and a mini food hall with a bakery.
She said the first phase of the project is planned for completion by 2023. H Mart is expected to open Spring 2024.
H Mart, which will be operated by Hanahreum Group, is recognized as one of the top 100 Progressive Grocers in 2020 and is recognized as one of the fastest growing retailers in the National Retail Federation’s HOT 100 RETAILERS (#13 HMart), added Chan.
“In the GTA, particularly North York area, represents the main proud feature of Canada, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural communities – ever growing rapidly,” shared Do Jun Hwang, CEO, H Mart. “However, despite many attempts by various supermarkets, there has not been a high-end supermarket with satisfactory quality, diversity and service which would satisfy the community. H-MART and the M2M will become a landmark known for the supreme living.”
H Mart is the largest Asian American grocery store chain with 97 locations in the U.S., 17 locations in Canada, and three locations in the U.K. In Canada, H Mart has locations in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta. In the GTA, H mart currently has two locations in Downtown Toronto, one in Richmond Hill, and four locations in North York; with the plan to open two new stores in GTA including M2M, bringing its total count to 20 locations across Canada, added Chan.
“Aoyuan develops homes that encourage active lifestyles and wellness for our residents, and the wider community; and that includes having access to healthy food and grocery options for everyone in the neighbourhood. We’re trilled to partner with H Mart and having them as the anchor tenant at M2M.” shared Fan Yang, General Manager, Aoyuan Canada.
Chan said H-Mart clearly understands Toronto has a fast-growing multicultural population, while providing a broad range of Asian foods, they also carry international and western groceries to better serve the local community. H Mart is also famous for its foodie-attracting food halls, which offer various restaurants serving up delicious cuisines.
“H Mart is quite familiar in this space . . . First of all, they are one of the largest Korean-American supermarket chains. They’re well-known not only in the Asian community but anywhere they operate. So we’re really happy to have them as the anchor tenant for M2M. We have been working very closely with them,” she said. “We’re inspired to create a welcome environment and a fulfilling shopping experience for our residents and for the surrounding neighbourhood.
Chan said the three-phased development of M2M will include about 1,750 residential units.
“It’s a very mixed neighbourhood that we have . . . It’s like a little bit of everything . . . For us, the development is not only about building buildings, it’s really about encouraging an active lifestyle and part of how we can make it accessible for our residents and our neighbourhood is a healthy food and grocery option which having H Mart as a partner really completes M2M.”
Chan said H Mart is part of the first phase of the development. In the second and third phases, another 30,000 square feet of retail will be created with possibilities including a pharmacy, a bank and food and entertainment.