Korea Times CEO buys Flushing shopping center for $27M

Emmut Properties rescued Korea Village from foreclosure in 2011

Korea Village at 150-24 Northern Boulevard in Flushing (inset: Richard Guarino and Jae Min Chang)
Korea Village at 150-24 Northern Boulevard in Flushing (inset: Richard Guarino and Jae Min Chang)

Korea Times CEO Jae Min Chang picked up the Korea Village shopping center in Flushing from Emmut Properties for $26.5 million, The Real Deal has learned.

Chang, a powerful South Korea media figure who serves as chairman of the Korean-language daily newspaper Korea Times and controls Pako Realty Corp., is planning a long-term hold of the nearly 78,000-square-foot property at 150-24 Northern Boulevard, according to sources familiar with the deal.

The three-story mall, formerly called Seoul Plaza, opened in 2006. Emmut Properties, a Hell’s Kitchen-based investment firm led by John Young, bought it at a foreclosure auction for $13.4 million in 2011.

The property has hit the market twice in the past year, most recently in February when it was listed for $30 million with Richard Guarino of Friedman Roth Realty Services.

Guarino, who represented both sides in the deal, said the property drew significant interest, largely from Korean investors.

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“The building was so ethnic it was definitely going to be sold back to the Koreans,” said Guarino, who declined to comment on the buyer’s identity. “They wanted their building back.”

The property offers 95,000 buildable square feet and is fully leased with tenants, including the Cosmos Department Store, Wilshire State Bank and wedding venue Dae Dong Manor.

The Korea Times, based in South Korea and Los Angeles, occupies office space in New York at 16 West 32nd Street in Koreatown and 42-22 27th Street in Long Island City. Chang could not be reached for comment.

In June, Pako Realty Corp. sold a Long Island City development site at 42-22 27th Street to Simon Dushinsky’s Rabsky Group for $39 million, property records show. Rabsky is planning a 15-story, 99-unit apartment building there.