De Blasio sets $80 million to rebuild historic Chinatown building

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chinatown fire.jpg

A fire broke out at a historic Chinatown building on Jan. 23, 2020.

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MANHATTAN — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is putting up big money to help rebuild a historic Chinatown site that was badly damaged in a January fire.

The structure is a residential building owned by the city and is also home to many local non-profit organizations, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio back when the fire took place. A senior center that serves as a pillar to the Chinatown community is also located in the building, the mayor said in a tweet.

The building also stores archives for the Museum of Chinese in America, including documents, artifacts, photos and artwork. It was not immediately known if any of the archives have been damaged.

Fire officials confirmed there is significant water damage throughout the building and that one section of the roof collapsed.

The city announced $80 million in funding to rebuild 70 Mulberry Street on Thursday, as well as the creation of an advisory committee to support community engagement and a three-month visioning process to gather public input about the future of the site.

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

The city will explore options to preserve the existing structure and seek to build consensus about the rebuilding process.

“Working with the residents of Chinatown, we have secured the funding necessary to rebuild this treasured site at the heart of the community,” said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “This historic building is important to the entire neighborhood and we want local voices to help drive its redevelopment.”

An advisory committee will also be present for discussions on the future of the site. Members of the advisory committee will include each of the building’s tenants, as well as representatives appointed by Congresswoman Nydia Velằzquez, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brian Kavanagh, State Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou, Councilmember Margaret Chin, and Manhattan Community Board 3.

“70 Mulberry is a local gem and community anchor,” said Velằzquez. “It is vital that, as it is redeveloped, Chinatown residents shape its future. The funding being announced today will ensure that this site is built back responsibly and in a manner that meets the community’s needs.”

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