Chinatown Business Vacate Ahead of MDC Demolition for High Rise Jail

Posted on: January 3rd, 2022 at 5:11 am by

Photo: Karlin Chan

For commercial tenants of 125 White Street – the Manhattan Detention Center – the end is nigh.

The city notified, then terminated, leases with commercial tenants of its Manhattan detention center in preparation for demolition. As reported, the current facility will be replaced with a modern thirty-story high rise jail as part of the controversial borough-based prison plan.

As it stands, only four tenants had survived Covid-19 lockdown until now, including the deli on the Centre Street side of building and three on the Baxter front.

Jaya Malaysian-Chinese closed its doors several months ago leaving Medipharm drug store and Bo-Ky Malaysian restaurant. With mere days to the vacate deadline Medipharm staff could be seen moving refrigerators and displays out. Bo-Ky, which only opened months before the city ordered lockdown in March 2020, has yet to find another location, but had offered friends and passersby canned and dried goods free of charge.

While the city did make nominal compensation for terminating the leases, small business owners are nevertheless left scrambling to find suitable spaces. Sadly, Medipharm and Bo-Ky may not be the only businesses looking to relocate as demolition begins; the ensuing traffic and disruption may just spell the end of small businesses throughout the area.

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