By Ruth Bayang
NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Dennis Chin is putting his vision in the hands of another.
The Asian Plaza Redevelopment (APR) president wanted to replace the current Asian Plaza with a new eight-story-tall redevelopment, with 240 units of mixed housing, a retail plaza anchored by a new Viet-Wah Supermarket, multiple restaurants, a business-class hotel, a community theater, an underground parking garage for approximately 600 vehicles, a childcare center, and a veterinary clinic.
Wilce and Mitsi Shiomi originally bought the two-and-a-half acre site in the late 1940s. During World War II, they were detained under Executive Order 9066. The Shiomis ran Connors Furniture and Appliance Store for over 40 years. After their retirement, their daughter Sandra and her husband Dennis Chinn took over, converting it to Asian Plaza.
Reportedly, Chinn has not been able to raise enough money to finance the entire APR project. Now Chinn — who has already spent $2 million on permits and design — is selling his legacy project with the stipulation that the buyer must use the existing design and realize his vision.
The estimated cost of the project is $212 million.
There have been 49 bidders for the property, at 1032 South Jackson Street, and Chinn is evaluating those potential buyers.
The Asian Plaza Redevelopment website says construction is supposed to begin in July 2018. It appears that might be delayed as well.
Ruth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.