Venerable Koreatown Plaza is up for sale

Owner of the Western Avenue shopping center hopes to net more than $90M

Mar.March 05, 2020 03:00 PM
The Koreatown Plaza is hitting the market (Credit: Google Maps)
The Koreatown Plaza is hitting the market (Credit: Google Maps)

A retail plaza that has come to represent the commercial development of Koreatown is now up for sale with its longtime owner Joong Nam Yang hoping to net more than $90 million.

The building’s broker CBRE announced this week that Koreatown Plaza, a 140,000-square-foot building at 928 S. Western Avenue, is looking for a buyer — 32 years after Yang opened the shopping center for business following a $25 million construction project.

CBRE declined to say what it would seek for the property, though one of the property’s agents Timothy Bower said: “It is CBRE’s expectation that it will trade north of $90 million,” or about $640 per square foot.

The plaza is currently home to 72 retail shops, 12 food court restaurants, a branch of Hanmi Bank, Bosco Bakery & Cafe, and Korean cosmetics brand Aritaum.

In December 2018, The Hanahreum Group, the parent company of H Mart Asian-American grocery chain, purchased the Plaza Market grocery store, which had been an anchor tenant since the plaza opened in 1988.

The sale did not appear to presage Yang unloading the entire plaza, as the owner put out a statement at the time that the broad appeal of H-Mart “will complement Koreatown Plaza’s position as the preeminent shopping and dining destination in Koreatown.”

Attempts to reach Nam Yang Thursday were not successful.

Koreatown Plaza opened long before Koreatown became a popular locale for L.A. development.

In December 1987, weeks before the Koreatown Plaza was scheduled to open, the Los Angeles Times reported: “Koreatown Plaza symbolizes a new phase of the Korean business community in Southern California. Believed to be the biggest project undertaken by Koreans in the Southland, it represents a size and scope far beyond the small retail outlets that have until now been the dominant form of Korean-operated business in the area.”

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