The poet Oscar Wilde once wrote: "What does he know of England who only England knows?" Translation: You cannot fully know a place until you've seen it from the outside and learned how to compare it with something else.
So you can be sure this guy knows America very well:
[Myoung] Kim, 63, was born in Korea and moved to the U.S. in his 20s. He's always been ambitious, working his way up through the retail industry. He wanted to retire at 45.
In the late 1990s, he invested in the dot.com boom but lost money when the bubble burst. He also invested in an oil well in Louisiana, but lost again when gas prices plummeted. Still, he managed to squirrel away a small fortune.
After visiting Virginia Beach in 2000, he and his wife decided to move to the city and lease an Exxon gas station on the corner of 31st Street and Atlantic Avenue. They planned to eventually buy the land and build a two-story retail building with an ocean view they could also live in.
For those who are unaware, that particular part of Virginia Beach is a major retail corridor located about ninety feet from the beach.
You don't lease or buy that kind of property unless you've saved up a major chunk of change. And this immigrant does indeed have a major chunk of change:
Four years later, Kim paid $1 million for the gas station and changed it to a BP. A few years ago, when the station's manager retired, Kim planned to raze it and redevelop the land. But then the pandemic hit.
So instead, he turned the empty space into a temporary commercial parking lot, where he and his son take turns manning the attendant station.
Then fortune turned his way last fall. The Bank of America branch next to his lot closed, and the property went on the market. Kim jumped. He bought the land and the building in October for $4 million.
The family has all sorts of plans for the property, and undoubtedly they will be successful in their endeavors.
This is still America, folks—even now, at this late hour. God bless this country.
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