The notoriously neglected Asiana building in downtown Frederick will not be taken off the city’s blighted structure list this month as officials originally thought.

A new code violation in March will keep that from happening.

The new violation was one of two changes made to the city’s blighted structure and watch list in the latest version published April 1. The other change made since Dec. 6 — when the last version was published — was the removal of 109 W. South St. from the watch list.

City officials created the watch list in 2014. It began with 30 properties and is down to eight.

Nikki Bamonti, executive assistant to Mayor Randy McClement, said at the first meeting of the city’s Property Revitalization Committee on April 10 that the reduction in the number of properties on the list shows the city’s success in tackling blight issues.

“We’ve made progress. We’ve had wins. It’s hard for us to get the word out about those wins,” she said.

The Property Revitalization Committee is the third ad hoc committee city officials have created to address blighted and problem properties in the city. The group is slated to meet for a year and address a list of short- and long-term goals to tackle blight once and for all. One of the group’s tasks is monitoring the blight list and identifying any new properties to add to it. At the end of the one year, the members will decide whether they need to continue as a permanent committee.

City code enforcement officials cited the old Asiana building at 123-125 N. Market St. — a long-vacant restaurant downtown — on March 9 for a “poorly painted” front brick exterior. The violation stated that the corner was painted without approval from the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, which is a requirement because the vacant building is in the Frederick Town Historic District.

The document stated that the property owner met with a planner from the Historic Preservation Commission in February to obtain an application for the work, but had failed to follow through by mid-March. The property owner is listed as Julia & James Properties LLC. Duk Hee Ro and Myung D. Ro are listed as principals.

The violation notice went on to say that “Mrs. Ro” had a meeting April 4 with Brittany Parks, the city’s acting division manager for code enforcement, and applied for approval from the Historic Preservation Commission two days later. The commission is set to hear the case April 27.

Duk Hee Ro did not return a call for comment Monday.

Before the latest violation, the property was set to come off the blight list on April 26, as the owners were addressing the other violations. The violation issued in March is the only one that is active at the Asiana building.

The building at 109 W South St. that came off the watch list April 1 was listed as under construction in December. The property was bought at a tax sale in September 2014, and the new owner was correcting a series of maintenance violations, according to city documents.

Another property at 326-328 N. Market St. is set to come off the blight list in October. Julia & James Properties also owns this building, and Ro said via phone in December that she was working to correct code violations at that property as well.

Follow Mallory Panuska on Twitter: @MalloryPanuska.

(17) comments


Can a certificate of occupancy be issued for Asiana? If no, then it doesn't go off the Blight list.


So paint on brick affects occupancy??? How????


nothing. It's the other issues with that property that are the problem. If a property is condemned and declared blighted, it should not get off the blight list until it has been rehabbed back to occupancy level conditions. Until then inspectors should be showing up every month, issuing additional fines for all violations not yet repaired, in process of being repaired, legitimately waiting on another repair that must be done first to be completed, or could not be worked on in the past month due to weather issues.


Blighted means blighted. That is a completely different concept than occupancy. One cannot require a building be occupied, but can require it not be in violation of building codes.


who said anything about requiring it be occupied? I said occupancy level conditions, meaning to get off the blight list, your property needs to be able to be occupied. If you do or do not have tenets lined up, totally irrelevant.


On Oct 22, 2014 the City declared the Asiana in full compliance with the NOV at the time. There were 26 open building permits (as they are today) and nothing was completed or received certificates of completion.

The building remains condemned because essential services such as water, electric and gas have not been fully restored.

The City wiped the slate clean aside from the nagging HPC violations recently.


There is no requirement that a vacant building meet occupancy requirements. It must just meet minimum standards for being secure, exterior maintenance, structural, safety, etc. Occupancy requirements only apply to those buildings that are occupied, hence the term occupancy requirements.


It has been vacant for almost 16 years due to the owners issues. If ever there was a case of Eminent Domain due to economic circumstances, this is it.


I doubt her $900,000 country estate is in such disrepair.


Oh, be patient, it will be spiraling downhill soon.


Just more words written on a piece of paper...


This is really really petty. Paint on brick. The city should be embarrassed.


Yea, this is really petty, they should just open the place up for Pete's sake! The tables have been set for years! I'm sure people from all over would love to get the plague here!
The city can only enforce code with the laws that exist. There should be a "No Ro" law in the city, but unfortunately they have to grasp what rules they were able to painstakingly agree on. People get pulled over all the time for going 3 mph over the speed limit while legally driving like total morons.
Anyone who doesn't get ill by looking at, looking into or understanding the situation regarding Asiana is being paid off.

Crusty Frederick Man 64

I guess it's time to visit the eye doctor again. I don't see any painted brick on this building from the picture but I do see non historical doors and the windows that have paper just slapped up any old way. The looks of these empty buildings downtown could be so much better if they were required to block the view neatly and at a minimum wash the windows . Clean windows even make a old shack look better. As for the executive assistant to the mayor can get your word out on your wins the same way you do when the mayor has his look at me shots in the paper !


I doubt this picture is recent; they keep pictures of newsworthy places and people on file


I think they might be referring to the "black" paint over the sign that said Asiana? That paint job is pretty sloppy.


The painted brick in violation is on the side adjoining Zoes Chocolate.

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