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The former Save-A-Lot grocery at 220 N. Broadway in Urbana on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.

At 2 p.m. Fridays, our Kathy Reiser answers reader questions of any kind. Click here or email kreiser@news-gazette.com.

URBANA — H Mart, an Asian grocery store chain that’s been on the way in Champaign-Urbana for about five years, has its C-U location in hand — the former Save-A-Lot grocery store at 220 N. Broadway Ave., U.

The city has issued a construction fence permit for the site, but the chain is still in the process of working with the city’s building safety staff to apply for a building permit, according to Andrea Ruedi, the Urbana’s senior advisor for integrated strategy development.

“We haven’t had formal conversations with their management team yet,” she said.

H Mart was formerly planning to build a store in Champaign, at 702 S. Neil St.

Meanwhile, the former Save-A-Lot was going to be the site of an Octapharma Plasma center, until that company ran into an issue with the city council in obtaining a special use permit that would have allowed a plasma center in commercial zoning.

Ruedi said H Mart coming to Urbana “is a huge deal for us.”

The store will be a great draw for downtown Urbana, and can be expected to draw students and others to the area, she said.

“The city of Urbana is excited to welcome H Mart to our community,” Mayor Diane Marlin said. “As the first Illinois location outside the Chicago area, we look forward to enjoying their wide array of Asian and Western groceries, as well as the innovative services offered by H Mart.”

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