KOREATOWN : Public Safety Center Gets Council's OK

Residents will soon see the development of a new public safety community center, according to a plan unanimously approved last week by the City Council.

The center, which will include a police substation and community center, will be housed in a now-vacant bank building at 1819 S. Western Ave. donated to the city last month by Bank of America.

Although the city will retain title to the property, it will be leased for a minimal fee to the Koreatown Public Safety Assn., said City Councilman Nate Holden. The community group, which formed in March with the intent of setting up a neighborhood public safety facility, will be responsible for the building's rehabilitation and upkeep, Holden said.

"We're going to do whatever we can to make it a resounding success, not just for our community but for the whole city," said Yohngsohk Choe, secretary general for the association. "We want to set an example."

On Wednesday, the council also approved the formation of a city-police task force that will estimate rehabilitation costs. In the meantime, Choe said, the association is trying to raise $2 million to $3 million with which to finance the work needed.

Choe said the facility will also serve as a meeting place for community groups.

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