The Lotte Plaza Market coming to New Tampa could look a lot like the one above, which is located Rockville, MD.

We told you back in February that the long dormant Sweetbay Supermarket property, after eight years of being empty, was finally sold to the folks who run the popular Lotte Plaza Market Asian grocery stores, and the new owners have officially begun the permitting process.

According to City of Tampa permitting records, Emerald Coast Permitting in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, applied for a zoning review in order to receive approval for a grocery store with a limited food court, which city planners deemed to be acceptable.

Next up will be a construction permit prior to work beginning to overhaul the old Sweetbay into New Tampa’s largest ethnic grocery store.

The Lotte Market will be approximately 55,000 square feet. Taaza Mart, which opened last year, is 17,000 feet. 

Founded in 1976, Lotte Plaza Market is one of the premier Asian groceries in Maryland and Virginia, where it has 12 locations. It opened its first Florida location in Orlando on W. Colonial Dr. in February 2019. New Tampa will be its second Florida location.

All Lotte Plaza Markets offer a wide choice of Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese food items and ingredients, an impressive selection of meats and fresh fish and a huge variety of fruits and vegetables typically not found at your regular American grocery stores.

Although there aren’t yet any detailed plans available, the Orlando store, as an example, also has a hair salon, bakery and a food court that are all draws themselves, featuring restaurants like Seoul Soon Tofu, Joen Korean, Izziban Katsu, Pho 54 and Taglish, a Filipino-American concept.

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