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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

KOREATOWN : Council OKs 25-Story Office-Hotel Complex

March 11, 1994

A 25-story office-hotel that would serve as a gateway landmark to Koreatown received the tentative approval of the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday.

Boosters of the proposed Pacific Trade Center also hope it will spur economic development in Koreatown, just as construction of the New Otani hotel stimulated the revival of Little Tokyo.

King Woods, a lobbyist for the developers, said the area is still in need of rebuilding after the 1992 riots. Supporters had to overcome the opposition of some lawmakers, who said the $150-million skyscraper does not belong in a neighborhood of homes and small businesses. Councilwoman Rita Walters also voiced concerns that Central American immigrants in Koreatown and African American residents of nearby Country Club Park would be shut out of the trade center.

The council approved the project 10 to 3. As designed, the Pacific Trade Center would have a 230-room hotel on its top floors, offices for trading companies in the lower floors of the tower, and restaurants, banks and stores at its base.

Developers say the project would create about 1,000 construction jobs and 1,400 permanent jobs. The Pacific Trade Center would be at Olympic Boulevard and Western Avenue, near the site of a Korean grocery that served as the center of a fledgling Korean community in the 1970s.

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