Displaced Tenants of 70 Mulberry Street Issue Statement on Demolition and Redevelopment

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 at 5:04 am by

Photo: Karlin Chan

In the wake of a divisive Community Board 3 meeting, in which preservationists were pitted against a desire for return, the displaced tenants of 70 Mulberry Street came together yesterday and issued a joint statement about shared priorities moving forward.

Many in the Chinatown community feel that the city, owner of the fire-scorched former school building, is proceeding with full demolition. Yet without sufficient public input. CB3 agreed with a resolution.

The displaced tenants issued a press release presenting their side.

“We write to present one unified 70 Mulberry Tenants’ voice regarding the future of 70 Mulberry, especially in light of our shared concern that there may be an escalating level of discordant and divided chatter regarding the 70 Mulberry Street site,” the statement reads. “We share the broader community’s sentiment that the 70 Mulberry Tenants must return as soon as possible to 70 Mulberry to continue serving the community.”

Collectively, the tenants – Chinatown Manpower Project, Chinese-American Planning Council, Inc., H.T. Chen & Dancers, Museum of Chinese in America, and United East Athletics Association – feel that it’s “important that we present clearly our united voice on the priorities regarding the future of 70 Mulberry Street.” To that end, they request request the following:

  1. That full demolition of 70 Mulberry continue without delay as we are anxious to return home as expediently as possible;
  2. That throughout the full demolition process, priority is placed on preserving elements of the lobby, façade, historic signage, and cast-iron columns with the goal to memorialize the history of 70 Mulberry in the new building;
  3. Engagement of the 70 Mulberry Tenants for active input in all aspects of the design and planning process for the new 70 Mulberry Street building;
  4. There is prioritization based on the historic design of 70 Mulberry Street, including height of ceilings over 15 feet; and
  5. Maintenance of FY2020 rental rates for the 70 Mulberry Tenants for space no less than held at present.

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