Boston Chinatown shrinking or expanding?

Cranes are busily rolling up and down at 120 Kingston Street and construction workers are working hard on 1 Greenway. A couple blocks away at downtown crossing, the Millenniums Tower is rising. That is the scene you will see when walking through Boston Chinatown, the third biggest one in the United States.

boston chinatown

From the day that the first Chinese labors were brought to Boston by the Sampson Shoe Factory at 1870, Chinatown has been the center of the Asian-American culture in Boston. The low living cost and the culture bond attracted more and more rootless Chinese overseas to settle down in Boston Chinatown. The Chinese population there had boomed even though the city development took away large amounts of land from it between the 50’s and 70’s. Around the 1990’s, a lot of families had to move out because of the building sales and the property value increase which were encouraged by the city.

With a great location in East Boston right by the financial district and downtown crossing, Chinatown has drawn a lot of attention from high-end real estate developers lately. It is considered a threat by the people who live in Chinatown with the fear of being pushed out.

“Only 20 percent of the 2,765 new units approved for construction in or around Chinatown will be regarded as affordable housing, according to July figures from the City of Boston.” Quote from The Boston Globe.

There is a great movement to improve the neighborhood of Boston Chinatown. The development around Chinatown will definitely increase the property value in that area, host more businesses and create jobs. However it might also wash away the distinguish phenomenon of Chinatown and disappear it in the future.

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