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A former Walmart store in Brooklyn Center has been sold and the building will get a new life as an ethnic grocery store.

Representatives from Arkansas-based Walmart confirmed the sale of the property in the Shingle Creek Crossing center to Sun Empire LLC, but offered no other details.

City of Brooklyn Center officials also confirmed the transaction that closed Dec. 29, and said the buyer was Bona Ku, who has an ownership interest in Sun Foods, which has a 65,000-square-foot store nearby at 6350 Brooklyn Blvd.

Ku "indicated that he doesn't plan on closing the current Sun Foods location, and plans to reopen the building in February," Brooklyn Center Assistant City Manager and City Clerk Barb Suciu said in an email.

Calls to Ku and store officials seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Hennepin County property tax records show the 2023 value the land off Hwy. 100 and Bass Lake Road at $10.9 million. Walmart bought the property in April 2011 for $6.29 million, county records show.

Walmart opened the 190,000-square-foot superstore on the site of the former Brookdale Shopping Center in 2012. The store was the anchor of the retail area that includes about 30 small shops, restaurants, a fitness center and a dental practice until it closed in April.

Walmart officials did not give a specific reason for closing the supercenter, but said financial performance among Walmart's nearly 5,000 stores is one of the main factors behind closing certain locations. Walmart representatives didn't mention public safety concerns as a reason for closing the Brooklyn Center store that the city's police chief at the time called "a hotspot for crime."

City Manager Reginald Edwards in April said the store's closing was "devastating and a major economic loss to our region."

The nearest Walmarts to Brooklyn Center are in Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove and Roseville.