Boston Restaurant Talk reports that C-Mart on Lincoln Street has shut for good. The market was in a garage - also home to the the Hei La Moon restaurant - that a Toronto developer wants to replace with an office tower.
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We don't need anymore office towers now that the new workforce knows working from home is nice. I like saving money by wearing my pajamas to work and not having to get on the disgusting Orange Line every day. Some people may disagree, but hey, I'm sure a good percentage agree!
I think a lot of companies are going to be reassessing their office space needs after this pandemic eases up.
"Boston would be cooler with less culture and more office towers" — Toronto Developer
This spells doom,
For Hei La Moon.
I used to stop in for lunch there and it seemed to be a rather prominent Chinatown community gathering spot.
... a busy place. Too noisy at times but good food.
On the other side of the Chinatown plaza, the Dynasty restaurant has sat empty and closed for at least the last five years, probably much longer.
Dynasty has sat empty for at least two decades, and as far I know, is now a storage space for the owners. Lots of childhood memories of going there with the family for dim sum on the weekends. It'd be nice if they could let Hei La Moon move there.
Bummer. This was the closest Chinese market to my office. Although who knows when I'll be back in the office again...
Who cares? The place was filthy? Did anyone focus on what was actually in the store? Clearly no one was going in there which is why they closed. No one closes a business that is thriving. Rather than look at it as, “another Chinese grocery is gone” why not look at it as, “Great, that filthy grocery store is gone. Now maybe we can get a clean place that better serves our needs.” Wake up people and stop being so afraid of change. Maybe walk across the street to the Leather District and see that people are actually trying to improve the City.
Apart from great architecture, the Leather District is a dull place.
After galleries left Newbury Street and before they settled in what is now called SoWa.
That market was there forever, and was the place that Chinese people from all over went to, before a lot of suburban Asian groceries and H-Mart appeared.
I loved C-Mart! Clean, organized, and a great selection of common and uncommon items. It will be missed.
Now I hope nothing happens to Jia Ho.
Went to it every week. Good prices. Very, very convenient. Prime real estate.
Best produce in the city. Especially in the winter. I never knew what a wide variety of leafy green things were actually edible before I found this C-Mart.
This was a great market. But monetizing the air is far more important than community needs.
Will Boston's Chinatown go the way of New York's Little Italy (irony noted). The difference being our Chinatown is destroyed because developers can't see any reason for an actual neighborhood.
Boston's Chinatown will go the way that many other Chinatowns have gone. This is just the beginning of Seaport 2.0.
DC is an excellent example. All that's left in Chinatown are: senior housing that will no longer be heavily Asian-American in the next two decades, a gate similar to Boston's, and nonsense/meaningless Chinese characters on Starbucks and Sweetgreen storefronts (mandated by the City Council).
in the 20 years I've lived here.. Chinatown has become less and less "china".
The minute the archstone building went up I felt like that was the end.
If the city cared about the neighborhood, they would have required supermarket and restaurant spaces in the tower as condition of zoning approval, with preference for existing neighborhood businesses.
Through the operation of the real-estate market, we have collectively made it clear that we will pay a lot more for an office tower than we will for a garage, restaurant, and market complex.
The owner of the real estate who decides to kick out the market and restaurant and build the tower isn't evil; he's just responding rationally to the economic water in which he's swimming.
If you think, as I do, that C-mart and Hei La Moon add value to society that isn't accurately measured by market real-estate prices, then the answer isn't to depend on property owners acting altruistically at their own expense and to curse them out for their greed when they instead respond to the signals we have clearly sent them; the answer is to act at the policy level and to place some guardrails on the short-term value-maximizing nature of a raw, unfettered, real estate market.
I agree that's what we need to do, but every time we try it's "Big Government distorting the free market, picking winners and losers." We need to be prepared for that and power through.
A mix of glass and masonry at the lower podium-level of the Project will reflect the character and tactility of the Leather District, which will be further underscored by active public programming.
This destruction of Chinatown began when half of the community was razed to make way for the Central Artery and Mass Turnpike in the '50's and '60's. While politicians at City Hall make a point of building a voter base in Chinatown with banquets and appearances, they have done little or nothing to preserve it.
The need is for affordable housing, not an extension of the Financial District with outdoor concerts by Berklee students and an occasional dragon dance.
Where is Marty Walsh, Ed Flynn and the Boston Planning and Redevelopment agency on this? Just another rubber stamp?
I commented on your linked post and broke this on 4/2. We spoke about it.
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