Dang ma, that took a long time, but Koreatown's newest mini-mall, the Ma Dang Courtyard, opened on Friday night. The project, located right across from Solair development--and a development that's been under construction for at least three years--is unique in that it holds a three-screen movie theater, the first entry into the US for South Korea's largest multiplex cinema chain, CGV. The cinema, which is located on the top floor of the four-story mall, will show both Korean (with English subtitles) and mainstream films. There's also a sweet-looking cafe off the theater. The other anchor is a Bann restaurant, while there are also various bars and wine bars planned (maybe this will be your pre-Wiltern show watering hole).
There are also roughly 40 retail stores--a mixture of clothing, entertainment, restaurants, and more--that will open later this year. The project is 65 percent leased, according to Realtyland's Edward Kim, who represents the project. Kim tells us that the stores wanted to wait until the two anchors opened before opening themselves.
As for the architecture, David Kim, principal at Corbel Architects, points out that Madang is the Korean word for courtyard. There are numerous design elements specific to Korean architecture, according to Kim, including the use of chimney stack, the grey brick which symbolizes the warmth and harmony of the family. And what about the rock outside? The large rock is representative of nature, according to Kim. "We wanted to show that the Korean architectural philosophy respects Mother Nature," he writes in an email. As a commenter pointed out, we're just impressed to see a mini mall that doesn't have stucco, neon or supergraphics, go up.
Meanwhile, the developer is Young Choi, also the owner of the Bann restaurant.
· Ma Dang The Courtyard: Best Mini Mall Yet? [Curbed LA]