Changing Landscape: NYC's Chinatown

Monday, April 20, 2009

Interesting article out on the Gotham Gazette about Chinatown, gentrification, and what happens when the old clashes with the new and in the end, where will it take everyone:

Some 26 luxury residential buildings have recently been built or are under construction in Chinatown, along with 25 new hotels, and 118 new high-end boutiques and cafes, according to a report by the Urban Justice Center and Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence, or CAAAV. The report also pointed out that there were 195 commercial construction permits filed with the Department of Buildings in Chinatown between January and November 2008.

So, has gentrification finally arrived in one of New York's oldest ethnic neighborhoods?

Many said the transition began years ago. "Gentrification in Chinatown is not a new phenomenon," said Esther Wang, project coordinator for the Chinatown Justice Project at CAAAV. "What we have seen in Chinatown in the past few years is that development has really picked up."

"In the real estate market, Chinatown is probably the last frontier", said Justin Yu, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolence Association, popularly known as Chinese Community Center on Mott Street. "But most of the designs of the new buildings are contradictory to what we have."
Read it in full here.