So, big developments are being built or proposed for the area in and around Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood.

Mostly, this is a good thing, for the city as a whole, but local Chinese residents are wary, according to this Christian Science Monitor article:

The empty lots, the tangle of highways above and below ground, and the power plant may not look like much. But everyone agrees it’s prime real estate.

Residents of Chinatown next door see the 20 acres – called the “Chinatown Gateway” on zoning maps – as their best chance to develop much-needed affordable housing and alleviate a severe housing crunch.

But the city’s redevelopment authority has dubbed the area “South Bay” and envisions a new downtown district with upscale apartments, hotels, and offices.

It’s an odd place, Chinatown. I was down there today, turning in the plates to my car (yes, I am car-less as of today; you’re welcome, Al Gore!). The monstrous and out of place Park Essex Archstone-Smith apartment building stands 40-stories tall across from an empty lot that was once the Gaiety Theater and may soon be another residential tower, this one made up of apartments and condos.

Up the street, Hayward Place remains a parking lot, but may soon be home to a condo tower, this one built by Millennium Partners, the team behind the Ritz-Carlton Residences and Hotel, overlooking the Boston Common.

At the corner of Essex Street and the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a local developer has proposed a towering high-rise which would replace the Dainty-Dot Hosiery building with 24-stories of offices and residences.

Just about all this development is good. Excuse me for saying so. I realize that these towers will do little to improve the lives of those currently living in the neighborhood, but things change.

As Shakespeare once said: A city is like a shark. It dies if it doesn’t move forward.

Read on: A land squeeze in America’s Chinatowns – By Carol Huang, Christian Science Monitor

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Updated: 1st Q 2018

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