A large Korean-owned community center, which the Korean-American community has been hoping for, will finally open some time this spring.
(…) The Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (KCS) has reportedly completed the purchase of the site of the Bayside Jewish Center on 32nd Avenue in Bayside, Queens.
It has been only one year and one month since KCS signed a sales contract with the Bayside Jewish Center in late January. The size of the building bought by KCS was 54,000 square feet and the building area was 35,300 square feet. The purchase price was $7.5 million. This is the first time in history that such a large-scale Korean community social services center in New York City has opened.
The Korean American Association of Greater New York and the existing KCS Community Center have been serving as Korean-American community centers in New York, but [their facilities] were not large enough to accommodate many people. The new KCS center will hold more than 500 people. It will be a comprehensive services center that can be used by all generations, with a senior center, vocational training school, after-school program, English education classes, immigration services, and a medical clinic. In addition, Korean youths will be able to use the gymnasium. There will be a variety of meeting and conference spaces that may be rented by Korean-American organizations.
KCS plans to go into full operation in the early spring after renovations to the existing building. An official of KCS said: “Thank you to the interest and support of the Korean communities. We are sure that this new KCS will improve the quality of services for Korean Americans. But we need Korean Americans’ continuous support to maintain and develop the center.”
The new KCS center has been funded with $4.5 million from the sale of the existing community center, $3 million in loans to the community center, and funds raised by the Korean community to purchase the building. However, funds will be needed for repayment of loans and internal renovations. KCS has requested assistance from the Korean government and the New York City government, but the budget is still insufficient. So they plan to encourage the Korean community to raise funds for it.