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  • Jason Tuvia

Neighborhood Spotlight: Koreatown is a bustling city within a city

Dense, diverse and undeniably L.A., Koreatown today is a dizzying hub of all-you-can-eat barbecue spots, karaoke bars, high-rise condos and 24-hour spas.

In the 1920s and 1930s, though, the neighborhood was the stomping grounds of cravat-sporting men and of women who wore their diamond rings over the fingers of their elbow-length satin gloves. These high-society folks would guzzle Champagne by the magnum and while away their days darting around town in their massive chauffeur-driven Duesenbergs.

But the area has evolved beyond its days as a simulacrum of the Upper East Side into a vibrant, polyglot neighborhood that could exist only in L.A.

“Obviously, entertainment is No. 1, and also its central location,” Real estate agent Ken Kim said. “Transportation is really convenient.”

Several new condo developments have been built in the last few years, a plus for those who can afford them.

“Rather than buying a 5- or 10-year-old condo, they’d rather buy a new one,” he said.

Portions of the 90004, 90005, 90010 and 90020 overlap the area. In May, based on 17 sales, the median price for single-family homes in the 90004 ZIP Code was $1.25 million. In the 90005 ZIP was also $1.25 million based on four sales.

In the 90010 and 90020 ZIP Codes, where multi-family buildings are prevalent, the median price for condos was $740,000 and $423,000, respectively.

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