HomeChinese AmericanIs Expansions A Good Idea For Oakland's Chinatown?

Is Expansions A Good Idea For Oakland’s Chinatown?

Chinatown Oakland

Photo by yussefThe3rd



Oakland’s Chinatown is one of the earliest pan-Asian communities in North America with settlement dating back to 1850. Members of the community have recently started to make plans to expand. Although it is already a vibrant and active neighborhood with crowded restaurants and a plethora of small businesses, many buildings and lots remain vacant.
The East Bay Times reports that a “380- condo mixed-use high-rise”, and a “262-condo, six-story building” are underway”. The expansion, however, has become a controversy in the Oakland Chinatown. Some people believe that it will increase housing and bring about a boom in local businesses. On the contrary, others believe that the expansion will disrupt the current inhabitants and “[change] the neighborhood identity”, which may result in some residents relocating.
The President of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce,Carl Chan, stands with the development. The “unofficial may of Chinatown says that “what we are looking for is a bigger customer base”.
The Coalition of Neighborhood Stakeholders and other local activists have tried to appeal a project on 13th Street. However, “the appeals were dropped after Wood Partners shelled out $2 Million for local affordable housing projects,” according to the East Bay Times.
Chan believes that this expansion will be vital to the success of the Oakland Chinatown because small businesses are the backbone of the community and account for most of the employment.
Regardless, he believes that at the end of the day “it’s really about how we can work together”.
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