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.