Abandoned Asiana and Other Downtown Eyesores

The Frederick News-Post has a nice piece of reporting about some notorious downtown properties and the people who own them.  One of the places that we’ve talked about in the comments here quite often is the Asiana building.

Ro began buying downtown properties in 1978 with the purchase of 123 and 125 N. Market St. for $140,000. The building was once the home of The Asiana, a Japanese restaurant, but has sat vacant for about 10 years, according to Sherman Eaves, Ro’s former maintenance man.

Ro is the owner of the Asiana property as well as the recently condemned building that housed That Cuban Place. When asked about the Asiana property, Ro responded:

Ro said she is losing money by having her properties sit vacant, but has no plans to sell because she needs a job and is hoping the economy will turn around soon. She said many people are interested in The Asiana building but she couldn’t say when it would be occupied.

Ro wouldn’t say how much it would cost to rent, but a tenant would have to prove they have at least $200,000 in the bank. She estimated that repairs inside the building would cost a tenant about $100,000.

Read the whole article, very interesting look at the whole process of building inspection, what the city can and can’t do about troubled buildings, and some horror stories thrown in for good measure (the basement full of raw sewage made my stomach turn).


16 thoughts on “Abandoned Asiana and Other Downtown Eyesores

  1. I was glad to see so much attention finally given to this situation. I must be very naive about housing laws, because I just don’t get how you are allowed to get away with being a “slum lord”. And for so many years! there must be other cities that we can learn from and figure out what to do. I mean such a stink was made about the Volt sign when they first opened by the historic folks. Or remember a few years back the hubbub about the chairs outside the pretzel place? How is the same scrutiny not done to this lady’s places?


    • Or when the little cafe that used to be on the corner of Church and East Streets had to remove their “chesire cat” smile from their window because “it doesn’t fit the historic character” of the city? Or how Starbucks had to fight to get on to Market St? Yet that same group, so anxious to crack down on the tiniest infraction of “non-historic” compliance, huddles into a corner and implicitly approves, through it’s total silence, of the “historic” compliance of the facade of Asiana and the other Ko slum properties. What hypocrites. What are they afraid of? Or how much were they paid to look the other way?


  2. It’s a shame that she has let her properties go like they are. I’ve heard nothing but bad things about her. She wants a ton of money for her properties but won’t do anything to fix them. “Somebody” needs to clean her up and get her out of here. Frederick doesn’t need people like that around.


  3. So she expects some tenant to come in with 100k to 200k to fix her building up so that she can find some excuse to boot them out and charge a new tennant three times more in rent? Please, some please just sieze the properties and be done with it.


    • Amen brother. Amen. This has gone on far too long because we have a City government and Historic District that is totally without stones. They pick on the innocent because they are terrified of dragons. We need some real dragon slayers to take care of this. Every dragon has a weak spot where arrows do penetrate. Find that spot and be done with this.


  4. Looks like the Asiana building is being condemned. See article below from FNP. It’s time for a new owner so these properties can be used for something productive, let alone before some gets hurt!

    By Blair Ames
    News-Post Staff

    City code enforcement officials will condemn the old Asiana property at 123 N. Market St., at 1 p.m. today because of a water main break, according to code enforcement division manager Dan Hoffman.

    Code enforcement learned of the water main break last Tuesday by a neighboring business that reported water gushing through the metal basement doors along the sidewalk.

    The water has been shut off to the building since that time and two tenants living in apartments above the old restaurant have been living without running water and electricity since then, Hoffman said.

    The property is owned by Duk Hee Ro, who also owns the former home of That Cuban Place, 300 N. Market St., which was also condemned on April 1.

    When reached by telephone, Ro declined to discuss the condemnation.


    • Oh I SOOO hope this is for real! I feel terrible for the apartment tenants. It’s hard enough to find reasonable rental properties in Frederick and I hope they can find new places. In the meantime take this property out of the claws of the Dragonlady once and for all. And then take all of the rest of them.


  5. This is so long overdue! But will this property continue to fall down and be a blight and eyesore on a vibrant restaurant/shopping area on Market St? It’s rather incredible that the local government/historical society hasn’t been more proactive in solving this issue. Why has this landlord been allowed to have so many properties in such horrible conditions?


  6. Why are we allowed to trash certain people on this board but not others? Others have been just as egregious to the health of Frederick yet when they are discussed comments are censored.


    • I delete most of your comments b/c they are off topic, frankly mean spirited, and for the fact that you pose and comment as real people (e.g. blaine young) instead of yourself. If you have an axe to grind with certain people in the community start your own site and do it. There are many free services that will allow you to have a site up and running in a few minutes.


  7. Pingback: Parklets, Malls, and the Dragon Lady Gets Busted | Frederick Maryland Online

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