The Chinese American population of Washington D.C.’s Chinatown has dwindled from a high of 3,000 to 300 in less than 20 years, reports the Washington Post.
The decline began with the construction of the Verizon Center in 1997 and the introduction of luxury condos and night spots to the neighborhood.
About half of the Chinese left live in an apartment complex known as Museum Square. The Bush Companies which owns the complex has given notice that it plans to demolish the complex and replace it with a new development.
Tenants are fighting back, and under a local law, are allowed to buy the building for themselves. They’ve gone to court to determine the sales price.
“Even though it’s not Chinatown anymore,” Jenny Tang says, “we still want to stay here. Where we feel safe.”
You can read about the history of gentrification in D.C. Chinatown and meet some of the Chinese people still hanging on and fighting to stay in the Washington Post.