Morning Headlines: Proposed Chinatown Community Center Will Get $3.7 Million State Grant

Groundbreaking is expected next year.

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

The Eastern Tower Community Center, a proposed 23-story tower for the northwest corner of 10th and Vine has just acquired another benefactor. The Daily News’ Julie Shaw reports that in addition to backing from foreign investors and a bank loan, the $75 million project is set to receive a $3.7 million Economic Growth Initiative grant from the state.

According to Shaw, the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. spearheaded the project, which is currently the site of a parking lot. The high-rise, anticipated to bridge the gap between Chinatown North and Chinatown, will hold Chinatown’s first community center, as well as other facilities:

The tower will house Chinatown’s first community center, a preschool and after-school programming run by the Chinatown Learning Center, a bilingual health center, a gym, offices, retail shops and 143 apartments – 31 of which will be subsidized by PCDC for poor and low-income residents.

Shaw adds that Andy Toy, PCDC’s managing director, said the project would create up to “1,000 construction jobs and more than 300 full-time jobs when completed.”

During yesterday’s press conference announcing the state’s contribution, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley presented some numbers to support the need for the building, which supporters believe will revitalize the community:

* 56 percent of ethnic Chinese families are low-income.

* 17 percent of Asian-Americans are unemployed compared with the city average of 12 percent.

* 61 percent of the ethnic Chinese population has limited English proficiency, the highest percentage of all ethnic groups in the city.

* More than 25 percent of Chinese-Americans don’t have health insurance.

State announces grant to help build high-rise near Chinatown [Daily News]

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