Chicago's Chinatown

Monday, June 29, 2009

Just wanted to post up a little bit of an article on Chicago's Chinatown:

"The young professionals wanting to move back to Chinatown want to reconnect with traditional families and their heritage," said Chi Can To, co-executive director of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. That desire for connection does not surprise Kam Liu, principal at Kam L. Liu Realty. Liu, a Realtor since the mid-1970s, was one of the first full-time Realtors in Chinatown.

Chinatown's real estate ranges from older, traditional single-family homes to luxurious town homes and condominiums. Its boundaries are as informal as they are dynamic, changing as business areas expand and housing becomes available, and are identified by the language spoken on the street. Today, the borders are the south branch of the Chicago River on the north, Clark Street to the east, 26th Street on the south and Halsted to the west. The tight housing market has caused Chinese-Americans to move into the adjacent communities of Bridgeport and McKinley Park.

"As a whole, Chinatown is mostly businesses surrounded by housing on the side streets and south of Cermak Road," Liu said. Properties for sale in Chinatown are few, he said adding that families that own their home stay in it for generations or sell it among themselves. "The preference may be to buy a single-family home, but the cost factor in Chinatown is too great," he said. "So first-time home buyers choose condos."

Amy Mui and her husband, Perry Zhao, are among those first-time condo buyers.

Mui grew up in Chinatown and is accustomed to the accessibility it affords to the rest of the city and the benefits of the community. All played a part in their decision to stay in the area. When friends visit, they shop, go to a restaurant and take photos by Chinatown Gate. "And there's always karaoke," she said. "We didn't want to leave the neighborhood," Mui added. "The people are very warm here, very nice and caring. I am used to that and want that for my family."
Read it in full at the Tribune.