Manhattan Chinatown neighborhood struggles amid demolition for ‘jailscraper’

Manhattan Chinatown neighborhood struggles amid demolition for ‘jailscraper’Manhattan Chinatown neighborhood struggles amid demolition for ‘jailscraper’
via Eyewitness News ABC7 New York, PIX 11 News / YouTube
Residents in Manhattan’s Chinatown are bearing the disruptive impact of demolition work preceding the construction of what could be the world’s tallest jail.
Key points:
  • The upcoming facility, which earned nicknames such as the “mega jail” and “jailscraper,” is expected to tower over 300 feet (91.5 meters).
  • The ongoing demolition is slated for completion in early 2025.
The details:
  • The new jail will replace the existing Manhattan Detention Complex — also known as the Tombs — at 124-125 White Street. It follows a New York City initiative to close Rikers Island by 2027 and create four borough-based facilities.
  • Demolition work started last spring and has caused significant disruptions in the adjacent Chung Pak senior housing center and nearby establishments. Structural damages, dust and noise are commonly reported.
  • “It is very terrifying. We’re terrified the building is just going to come crashing down on our heads,” Edward Cuccin, a Chung Pak tenant, told ABC in March.
  • Meanwhile, Cheng Foi Lin, another tenant, told PIX 11, “The floor is always shaking and it feels like an earthquake is coming.”
  • In a statement to news outlets, the New York City Department of Buildings assured that there is “no immediate danger or threat to safety” at Chung Pak and noted that the building already had existing cracks when the construction project started. An independent air quality monitor is also being hired for the rest of the demolition.
  • Demolition contractor Gramercy Group Inc. has vowed to repair damage at the senior housing center, according to the New York Times.
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