The local arm of one of Asia’s largest banks is relocating from the corner of Broadway and 31st Street – where its retail branch marked the edge of Koreatown – two blocks over to the other side of the small neighborhood.
Woori America Bank, a subsidiary of South Korean bank Woori Financial Group, has signed a lease for 25,000 square feet at Shulsky Properties’ 330 Fifth Avenue at 33rd Street, and will move from Jamestown Properties’ 1250 Broadway between 31st and 32nd Streets.
Woori’s retail branch will be on the ground level of the 224,000-square-foot building. It will join a number of other Korean banks on Fifth Avenue, which marks the edge for the ethnic neighborhood characterized by its concentration of karaoke bars and a vast variety of food options.
The neighborhood began pushing eastward a few years ago as low vacancy rates meant that retail tenants had to start looking outside the tight confines of 32nd Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue.
“With this move, the boundary of Koreatown expands to Fifth Avenue and beyond, with three Korean retail banks, Shinhan Bank, BNB Hana Bank and Wilshire Bank located within blocks on Fifth Avenue,” said Soon H. Rhee of First New York Realty Brokers LLC, who represented Woori America Bank with the brokerage’s president, Norman Bobrow.
Woori had been at 1250 Broadway since 1982, when it bought its lease from American Savings Bank. Jamestown last summer kicked off a $3 million renovation of the building with the goal of making it a hub for technology companies.