A bright red vinyl banner draped across the building at Cole and Ustick roads announces the opening this month of the Idaho Capital Asian Market.
But the owners of the building aren’t quite that far along in transforming the former Jo-Ann Fabric building into a 14,000-square-foot grocery store. They now plan to open the store soon after, said Marcus Tam, an agent with Boise Premiere Real Estate who represents the owners, China Town Plaza of Murray, Utah.
“We hope to have a trial opening in the early part of September and then try to have a full grand opening sometime in October,” Tam said.
The building is part of the renamed Idaho Asian Plaza, formerly known as Library Plaza for the adjacent Boise branch library that shares the plaza’s parking lot. The market is the first step of a $1 million makeover — including $750,000 for the store remodel — that will feature an Asian-style gate and pagoda-style roofs on the shopping center’s five buildings.
The shopping center plans to attract other Asian stores and restaurants, similar to a project the company developed in South Salt Lake City, Utah. The Chinatown Supermarket opened in 2012 with restaurants, an Asian gift store and a kung fu studio. A grocery store similar to the one in Boise, only more than double the size, opened in 2014, according to the Deseret News.
China Town Plaza bought the parcel in December for an undisclosed amount.
“It’s not just a Chinese store, but it’s focused on all Asian grocery foods and a variety of products,” said Tam, who grew up in Hong Kong and earned bachelor’s degrees in computer science and math from Boise State University.
The opening of the Idaho Capital Asian Market follows that of the Trade Viet store at Overland and Five Mile roads, which opened in late January. That store features a number of Asian fruits and vegetables not previously available in the Treasure Valley.