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Korean Community Services edges closer to opening Bayside facility

By Mark Hallum

Signs have gone up and money has changed hands as Korean Community Services makes a giant step toward opening its new center at the facility formerly occupied by the Bayside Jewish Center.

According to the KCS website, the building purchase went through for $7.5 million and $700,000 in maintenance fees. The group’s old headquarters in Flushing will be closed and sold for $4.5 million. KCS President Kwang Kim said the non-profit organization had already put a down payment on the Bayside property in April 2016.

The senior center will focus on elderly Korean immigrants who would otherwise struggle with language barriers from English-speaking care providers. Although the Korean population of Bayside does not hold a candle to that of Flushing where the majority of the organization’s work is centered, KCS plans to offer a facility for the entire community. Kim believes that the majority of people who will use the facility will have the ability to reach the center by bus, making any residual traffic concerns obsolete.

The site center will occupy the site at 203-05 32nd Ave.

The Korean Community Services has nine locations in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. It offers a wide variety of services that go beyond the needs of just the elderly, such as mental health, community and immigration assistance.

In November 2015, Bayside residents turned out in force for a Community Board 11 meeting to voice their objection to the proposal to place a public high school at the site. Only three out of 30 speakers were in favor of the project. School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo later announced that while the agency would still be working to address the issue of overcrowding in Bayside high schools, it would be looking for other options that are more space-efficient.

Community Board 11 voted unanimously against the school proposal.

Bayside Jewish Center has since merged with Hollis Hills Jewish Center.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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