NYC commits $80M to reconstructing historic Chinatown building damaged in fire

Maya Rajamani
July 02, 2020 - 5:18 pm
70 Mulberry Street Chinatown

FDNY

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- New York City will commit $80 million to reconstructing a historic Chinatown building that was seriously damaged in a fire in January, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. 

A fire tore through 70 Mulberry Street, which housed the archives of the Museum of Chinese in America, on Jan. 23. On Thursday, de Blasio and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services announced the city would “prioritize options to preserve what is salvageable from the existing structure and a redevelopment that acknowledges the history and significance of the site.”

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“In January, Chinatown lost the beating heart of its community: 70 Mulberry Street,” de Blasio said in a statement. “We’re working hand-in-hand with the community to preserve this building’s rich history and bring it back to life again.” 

As part of the rebuilding effort, the city will create an advisory committee comprised of building tenants, local elected officials and community board members, his office said in a release. The city will also launch a three-month “visioning process” seeking public input on the project that is expected to start this summer and continue into the fall. 

Tenants who were displaced by the fire will be able to move back in when construction is finished, according to the release. The city saved the “vast majority of tenant possessions” after the fire, the release noted. 

In a statement on Thursday, Museum of Chinese in America President Nancy Yao Maasbach said de Blasio’s administration “listened deeply to the tenants and community in the tragic aftermath of the fire,”

The $80 million in funding will “contribute to a stronger New York City overall and will provide dividends for generations,” she added.