A proposal to build an outdoor market in Washington DC’s Chinatown is being pushed forward by the developer despite concerns it doesn’t do enough to maintain the neighborhood’s historic buildings, reports the Washington Post.
The market could include 30,000 square feet of retail and a 400,000 square foot office building.
“A lot of these projects have kept the Chinese out of Chinatown. Our idea is to try to keep them in Chinatown and give them new opportunities,” developer Michael Darby said.
He said his inspiration comes from the hutong or historical Chinese villages in China.
Washington DC has seen a huge decline in its Chinese population in Chinatown and some say it is in danger of being wiped out.
The proposal has divided the Chinese American community. Some few the project would rejuvenate the area which has seen a significant decline in its Chinese population, but others say it will destroy the cultural and historical integrity of the community.
You can read both sides in the Washington Post.