CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Koreatown Organizers Call for Community Center

Koreatown Community Center
(Photo : Christianity Daily) (From left to right: Caroline Sim (K-ARC), Grace Yoo (former KAC), Hun Choi (KCCD), Joanne Kim (KYCC), and Lois Arkin (Eco-Village)) Koreatown organizers held a press conference on Wednesday regarding the proposal for a Koreatown Community Center.

A group of Koreatown community organizers is advocating for a 30,000 to 40,000 sq. ft. community center to be included in a proposal to redevelop three different areas along Vermont Avenue between 4th and 6th Streets.

The desired Koreatown Community Center would be located between 5th and 6th Streets.

“There are so many people in this city, but not enough parks and recreation centers,” said Caroline Sim of Koreatown Arts and Recreation Center (K-ARC), a coalition of Korean American non-profits and community members.

“Having a community center at this location would provide a safe and nurturing space for the kids and families of Koreatown,” said Joanne Kim, the development coordinator at Koreatown Youth and Community Center (KYCC). Three schools are located within walking distance of the potential location for the community center, including Frank Del Olmo Elementary School, Virgil Middle School, and Young Oak Kim Academy.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has currently already created a Request for Proposal (RFP), which detail the different aspects that they want to include in these three redevelopment sites. So far, the RFP includes requests for retail stores, luxury apartments, and affordable senior housing.

Organizers are advocating for a Koreatown Community Center to be included in that RFP, which can only be amended by a majority 3-2 vote by the Board of Supervisors.

The developers then make proposals according to the RFP and submit them to the Board. The Board then selects the most favorable proposal for redevelopment.

Developers are already working on these proposals which are due to be submitted to the Board by December 8th. Hence, making changes to the RFP “sooner is better,” Sim said.

“One developer told me that even if they don’t amend the RFP, but [the Board] expresses favor for the community center, he can include it in his proposal,” she added.

Organizers attended Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting, and will be gathering at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting again on October 13th at 2:30 PM. They encouraged community members to join them at the meeting (500 W. Temple Blvd, Room 383).

Should the community center be included in RFP, the building process for the center would likely start in 2017.

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