Asiantown was formally announced at the headquarters of International Décor Outlet on Wednesday. In a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony, IDO president Mr. Jerry Lee welcomed Jacksonville entrepreneur Pete Qiu as an important co-developer of the pan-Asian shopping and cultural complex scheduled to open at Regency Square in the fall of 2017.
The event introduced the concept behind AsianTown, a 100,000 sq. ft. shopping, dining and entertainment destination that is the first of it’s kind in the Southeastern US. The concept extends the idea of a ‘Chinatown’ neighborhood that many in America’s larger cities are very familiar with. Although Jacksonville has a growing and vibrant Asian community, there are no neighborhoods or shopping districts that this community calls home.
In attendance were members of Jacksonville’s local government, representatives of local business associations, members of the press and prominent leaders of the Asian communities in Northeast Florida. After welcoming comments by Mr. Lee, president of IDO, and Warren Hickernell, IDO CEO, the keynote speaker, Peter Qiu unveiled his vison for AsianTown.
Asiantown embraces culture, language and traditions from India through the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and South Korea, 20 different countries in all. From colorful festivals to serene relaxation in the spa, AsianTown is envisioned to a be a cultural point of focus for the vibrant and growing Asian community in Jacksonville, a place to celebrate the food, fun and festivals that define the rich tapestry of Asian heritage.
Other speakers representing Jacksonville government and Business organizations praised the leadership and investment that will create new jobs and bring economic vitality to the Regency area. Leaders of the Asian Community welcomed Asiantown as the highly desired and long overdue home for festivals, food and friendship.