Chinatown Partnership

Downtown Express 

It is perhaps understandable that with all the rebuilding activity going on in Chinatown these days that one could mix up projects and the different organizations undertaking these endeavors. In an effort to clear up the possible confusion created by this article, I would like to set the record straight.

First, the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation is well past the proposed stage in its evolution and has already undertaken several short-term economic development projects.

While the Chinatown Partnership L.D.C. is very interested in supporting solutions that would increase on-street parking, the organization has never spoken with anyone about a pilot project for installing muni-meters. The organization is exploring all possible options, including adding muni-meters. We are also interested in the parking study that will soon be conducted by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and the Asian American Federation of New York, who will focus its research on off-street parking facilities.

Contrary to the news article, the Asian American Federation was not involved in establishing the organization. However, York Chan, the chairperson of C.C.B.A., did play a major role in rallying the community behind the Chinatown Partnership. But, it was Asian Americans for Equality, a local community development organization through its 3-year-long community planning project, the Rebuild Chinatown Initiative, that led the launch of this new economic development organization.

Furthermore, the Chinatown Partnership has not agreed to oversee a street closure at the intersection of Canal, Baxter and Walker Sts. The Chinatown Partnership L.D.C. will closely examine the possibility of closing some streets during the evenings to create a night market. However, we are at the earliest stages of planning and have not chosen a location and would first work very closely with the residents and merchants to determine, the size, time and activities associated with a night market for Chinatown.

It is true that all of these recommendations can be found in the R.C.I. planning study released in April 2004 and that R.C.I. created the foundation for the Chinatown Partnership, however, the Chinatown Partnership is a separate, independent organization with 15 board members representing a cross section of business, cultural and civic leaders who are setting the organization's policy and direction.

Robert Weber
Rebuild Chinatown Initiative

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