Photo courtesy National Governors Association.

Gov. Larry Hogan officially opened the state of Maryland’s Koreatown in Ellicott City, one of the few such establishments in the United States. Hogan was joined by First Lady Yumi Hogan – the honorary chair of the Koreatown Planning Committee Board – as well as South Korea’s Ambassador to the United States Lee Soo-hyuck and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.

Koreatown, which is marked by two Korean palace-style signs with pillars and a tiled roof, comprises the five-mile stretch along Route 40 in Ellicott City that is home to 170 Korean businesses. The area, which the governor dedicated as ‘Korean Way’ in 2016, is home to roughly 12,000 Korean-American.

“With Maryland’s own Koreatown, even more Marylanders and visitors from all across the country will have the opportunity to show their support for all of the local businesses and learn more about this incredible Korean-American community, which contributes so much to our economy, our culture, and our society,” said Hogan. “This project has been years in the making, and much of the thanks for its success goes to none other than Maryland’s First Lady, who has worked tirelessly to get this done.”

Earlier this year, the Governor and the First Lady visited the area that is now designated as Koreatown to meet with local business owners and residents following a rise in anti-Asian violence and discrimination.