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Chinatown’s Eastern Tower Community Center construction to begin with $76M secured

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Expect a fall groundbreaking

This should be the year that Chinatown finally sees the Eastern Tower Community Center take shape at 10th and Vine.

Governor Tom Wolf announced this week that with total financing secured for the $76 million project, development will begin on the 20-story tower. The project calls for 45,000 square feet of recreational space and retail on the first through fifth floors and 150 residential units on the upper levels.

The tower has been in the works since 2011.

The news was first reported by the Philadelphia Business Journal and comes after years of waiting for work to begin at the site as the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) tried to secure financing for the project. In October 2016, after it received a $1.3 million state grant, the plan was to break ground by the end of that year and finish construction by late 2017. By February 2017, the site remained a parking lot.

Now, with help from a $9 million New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) financing transaction, total financing has been secured. General contractor Hunter Roberts has been given the green light to begin construction, and Curbed Philly is told that an official groundbreaking will be scheduled for September.

The project’s goal is to bring a much-needed community center to the neighborhood that’s essentially been chopped up by the Vine Street Expressway and provide affordable housing for the Chinatown community.

Said Wolf in a statement, “This project is exciting not only for its commercial and recreational offerings for families in that area, but it has the potential to help reconnect the Chinatown community that is split by the Vine Street Expressway.”