While you were all waiting for the marriage equality vote, the council was giving final approval to an Office of Planning project to address the “growing concerns of area residents and business owners that Chinatown is threatened by the continual loss of Chinese businesses and residents as well as cultural and historical features.”
I’d have loved to have seen Chinatown’s character preserved, but didn’t that ship sail over a decade ago? The area I’ve been calling “Chinatown in name only” for a lot of years is already pretty well diminished. The Office of Planning’s Chinatown Cultural Development Strategy summarizes it pretty well: “Today, only 30 Chinese owned businesses and less than 300 Chinese residents remain in Chinatown.”
In fairness to the Verizon center and other business growth there, the number of residents took a nose-dive from 3,000 to about 900 in the 70s and never recovered. But the business presence and appearance of Chinatown is vastly different from the first time I saw it in the late 80s. What’s really left at this point for this project to preserve?