I got to listen in on a little community conversation... I'm not going to go into specific names though because if you know then this post isn't new to you. If you don't know, then I don't think it adds to the story.
"I've been here so long, Ming Kee used to be a Jewish Poultry place, before it was a Chinese Poultry place. I was in the leather district and I would bring shoes to Mr. W you know the owner of Empire Garden? When I was ten years old. Imagine that! Now his hair is still jet black.. I mean whose he kidding.."
"You know he's selling the whole block for 20 million?"
"20 Million? It's worth more than that."
"The whole block? Yeah!"
"Oh I think they can't knock down the theater though because it's historical."
So that kind of means it can't be a huge Condo tower then right?
"You know the owners next to him they put up a firewall between his and that restaurant because he figured one of these days someone would try to set his place on fire... sure enough it happened.. twice."
Now here I somehow got the gist that the owner was unliked and someone might set fire to his place because of that. Interestingly I have met the owner and he seemed nice to me... but that might have been context. Apparently he is pretty unliked in Chinatown by many. I had always heard rumor of the arson being more to do with business, that other restaurants couldn't make money and that was why it was taken done.
What I've heard about reason not to like him, have mostly to do with yelling screaming and generally being a mean person. Now before I criticize someone else though I am going to look at my own behavior. Do I yell and scream? Yeah I do.. at my own kids. It's something I struggle with. But of course maybe I am really nice to people I don't even know on the street. I'm not excusing the behavior, I'm just pointing out that a lot of us, as humans have this fault.
And I'm young.
I imagine of you are old and your joints hurt and you do this and that... well people get bitter and they take it out on people who they can. It's not right, but it is common. That's why even though I don't like the behavior I have heard about... I see that I can't really criticize from my standpoint. Hell when I was working at the bank I was snapping at people and everything.
Well even if the block is worth more than 20 million, 20 million is a lot. A fortune. Why do it now? To split it between the kids? To cash out and retire? Who knows. But all those sound about right. When you look at that block, it really has to come up to the buildings around it. If the threatre can't get knocked down i don't know how hat works. Does it necessarily mean that the block will no longer be Chinatown? Who knows.
It might not even be developed for a while. who knows.
Whose buying it I wonder? I guess that's the real question.