A Threat to the Korean Community Store Owners Fear Arlington Heights' Next Special Tax District Will Break Up a Good Thing

By Davis, Jon | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), April 18, 2002 | Go to article overview

A Threat to the Korean Community Store Owners Fear Arlington Heights' Next Special Tax District Will Break Up a Good Thing


Davis, Jon, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Jon Davis Daily Herald Staff Writer

On a sunny April afternoon, Chang Song plies his trade as grocer to the Northwest suburban Korean community.

Walking around Song Do Market in Arlington Heights, he says he'd like to remodel his 5 1/2-year-old store and update the frozen food coolers.

Several doors down, Kim Joo talks about HerbLand, a three-month- old health and vitamin store, and notes the concentration of businesses at the International Plaza shopping center that are owned by or cater to the area's Koreans and Japanese residents.

The mall, 120-388 E. Golf Road in Arlington Heights, is the only point between Golf Mill in Niles and the shopping malls of Schaumburg for suburban Asians to browse and shop, Kim says.

"They are gathered in one shopping mall here," he said. "It's one-stop shopping here. You can get groceries, your nails done and eat. Think of the time and energy saved."

Given the upswing in the area's Korean population in the past 12 years, that's a lot of time and energy. Just as German immigrants did in the 19th century, Koreans are coming to the Northwest suburbs from Chicago or, like Song, straight to the suburbs from the homeland on the word of relatives already here.

The 2000 census revealed the Northwest suburbs' Korean community grew 76 percent - from 5,219 people counted in the 1990 census to 9,197 counted in 2000.

And as they came, International Plaza increasingly became a local version of any urban ethnic neighborhood: a commercial nexus of shops, restaurants, beauty salons, video rental stores, karaoke bars, goods and services all available to newcomers in a familiar language from familiar faces.

Despite the rosy demographic outlook, Song and Kim are worried. And they're not alone in pondering their mercantile fates as tenants in International Plaza.

The problem is a village development plan that makes the 14-acre shopping center the heart of a 24-acre tax increment financing district. A tax increment financing district, or TIF, freezes property tax payments to local governments while extra revenue collected from owners after redevelopment is used to pay for improvements.

The plan comes before Arlington Heights' Redevelopment Commission in just six days, and many fear it might lead to the plaza being torn down for redevelopment, forcing tenants to start anew elsewhere.

The landlocked village sees the northeast corner of Arlington Heights and Golf roads as both a major gateway traversed daily by more than 67,000 drivers and an underproducing slice of valuable real estate that could and should be generating much more revenue.

But plaza tenants see the TIF plan as a threat to their businesses, an insult to their success and the source of much anxiety.

"I just work, work, work, seven days a week. I could lose my dream," Song said.

The tenants

The Korean merchants and other tenants of International Plaza generally agree with the village's goal of stimulating the economic health of the corner, which is fronted by an abandoned gas station, a Japanese restaurant and a barely visible strip mall called Arlin- Golf Plaza.

They acknowledge International Plaza has a troubled past, but they say it no longer qualifies for inclusion in a TIF district because it has turned the corner and is doing fine now.

Rumors abound and information is in short supply, said Yong Myong, owner of Proline Golf, 268 E. Golf Road, which opened about 4 1/2 years ago.

Myong said a TIF district would have made sense three or four years ago, when there were problems with vacancies and the property's value decreased during an otherwise hot real estate market.

"Right now it's 95 percent full, so do we need to go in that direction?" Myong said.

Kim agreed. "Most tenants don't like the development plan."

That sentiment crosses cultures. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Threat to the Korean Community Store Owners Fear Arlington Heights' Next Special Tax District Will Break Up a Good Thing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.