Boston Magazine: Chinatown is changing, yet again


I’ve gone on and on about the real estate issues in San Francisco, a city I don’t live in, so here’s some perspective about my city. On one hand, what’s going on is gentrification, no doubt. More tenants are getting pushed out in favor of bigger and more expensive developments. On the other hand, I don’t get the sense of people talking about gentrification “ruining” anything. Sure, people may get evicted and this would make their lives more difficult. But in the recent past, what about Chinatown was there to ruin? Does anyone really want to turn it back into the “Combat Zone”?

Chinatown in Boston is the result of many changes over the last fifty years…but that pace seems to be all right. Boston development seems to be going at an acceptable pace for residents, even as we do see the steady beat of gentrification throughout the Greater Boston Area. Maybe this is what it looks like to live in a state with a more adequate safety net, or maybe our real estate policies are more sane. Either way, the stories coming out of Brooklyn and the Mission aren’t ones that resonate as loudly in Boston, at least for now.


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