Saraga to open expansive international grocery store near Castleton Square

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An Indianapolis-based grocery chain has chosen a former Target building on the north side for its third area location and fourth store overall.

Saraga International Market is expected to open a 101,000-square-foot store at 8448 Center Run Drive in Castleton by early 2020. The family-owned business bought the building and an adjoining retail center for $4.8 million in February.

The grocery store will have aisles dedicated to different international foods, as well as a minimum of 20,000 square feet dedicated to ethnic food vendors and restaurants.

Courtney Galyan, a broker with the local office of CBRE Group Inc. who represents Saraga, said “between five and eight” vendors will offer their restaurant and food concepts in the store. The vendor space—which will account for up to one quarter of the store’s footprint—will offer food-court-style service and separate restaurants.

“These aren’t chains we are talking about here,” Galyan said. “They’re concepts that are new (and) locally owned.”

Saraga chose the former Target because of its size, as well as its proximity to interstate traffic and an affluent customer base, Galyan said. Dozens of ethnicities will be represented in the product mix, including Asian, African, Mexican and many more, but this store is likely to carry more European-style offerings than other Saraga locations, he said.

The location would be the largest of Saraga’s stores, with Galyan acknowledging it's a lot of space to fill. The store would be about 30,000 square feet larger than a typical Kroger supermarket, for example.

Saraga was founded in 1994 by two Korean brothers after they spent two years selling international foods out of the back of a truck throughout the Midwest. Their original store in Bloomington has since closed.

The first Indianapolis location—a 62,000-square-foot store at 3605 Commercial Drive by Lafayette Square—opened in 2005, followed by a south-Indianapolis store at 2308 E. Stop 11 Road in 2010. The company opened a Columbus, Ohio, location in 2013.

In addition to its own grocery store, Saraga is seeking tenants for the vacant 40,000-square-foot strip mall to the north. The center will be open to a variety of tenants, including restaurants and retailers from Indianapolis’ international community, Galyan said.

The box store and strip mall properties were sold to Saraga by Sunbeam Development LLC, which was represented by Bryan Chandler with Eclipse Real Estate and Paul Gold with Echo Retail.

The building, built in 1990, was a Target until late 2014, when it was among 11 stores the company closed closed due to poor performance. Little activity has occurred in the strip mall portion of the property for the past several years.

Saraga will face competition from three other grocery stores in Castleton that focus on international fare: Asian grocer Viet Hua Food Market, Indian grocery Patel Brothers and Japanese grocer One World Market.

Saraga’s entrance into the Castleton market comes amid efforts by city and neighborhood leaders to boost business in portions of Castleton.

Galyan said the owners of Saraga hope to play a role in those conversations.

“We see this as a huge opportunity,” Galyan said. “It has been a dark void for several years, and having a store with an international flair like this really brings something unique to the area.”

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