HomeAsian AmericansChinatown Mall That Once Employed Thousands May Close

Chinatown Mall That Once Employed Thousands May Close

A mall in New York City’s Chinatown, that once employed thousands, is at risk of closing, ABC 7 NYC reports.

The East Broadway Mall, located near the Manhattan bridge, is the oldest and largest mall in Chinatown. It opened in the late 1980s and used to employ thousands.

Asian American small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic. A report by the New York Federal Reserve found that Asian American small business owners had fared worse than business owners from other racial and ethnic groups, Reuters reports.

Many of the stores in the East Broadway Mall have closed during the pandemic.

“Before the pandemic, this whole first floor was pretty much occupied,” GM Terry Chan told ABC 7 NYC. “Now it’s decimated from the pandemic.”

Chan says there are only 17 tenants left in the mall. There used to be 80 tenants. The rent has become difficult to afford.

Chan’s family was one of the original investors in the property. He said the building is being neglected by the city. The city, however, believes it is being neglected by the current operator.

A spokesperson for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services told ABC 7 NYC that the current operator has neglected the building and failed to pay rent. They now owe the city $13 million.

“Chinatown has been one of the communities hardest hit by the pandemic, and its small businesses deserve our support,” the spokesperson told ABC 7 NYC. “East Broadway Mall is a vital part of Chinatown, and new management will help the local economy and protect the small businesses that call East Broadway Mall home.”

The spokesperson added that the city would work to retain current tenants under a new operator.

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