Press Release

70 Mulberry Street Visioning Process Underway, Virtual Town Hall Scheduled

October 29, 2020

Visioning will Yield Final Report to Guide Rebuilding of Fire-Damaged Chinatown Building

NEW YORK – NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Lisette Camilo today announced updates about the community visioning process to guide the rebuilding of 70 Mulberry Street, a fire-damaged City-owned building in Chinatown. A 70 Mulberry Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from building tenants, local elected officials, and Manhattan Community Board 3 are guiding the visioning process. A community survey has been launched to gauge constituents’ thoughts on how to rebuild the site and a virtual town hall forum is scheduled for November 9, 2020 and is open for registration.

“Building a shared vision for the future of 70 Mulberry Street is a critical first step in the rebuilding process,” said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “The future of 70 Mulberry Street should be a community-driven decision, and I encourage all stakeholders to make their voices heard.”

Independent facilitators from 3x3 Design, hired by the 70 Mulberry Street Advisory Committee, earlier this month hosted an initial series of public events with community and industry groups, local property owners, small business owners, and community residents. These events were attended by over 100 community members and gathered perspectives from community stakeholders. The town hall forum, which will also be facilitated by 3x3 Design, is open to the public and requires registration. To supplement the work of the 70 Mulberry Advisory Committee, DCAS has also launched a website to provide information about the visioning and rebuilding process

Register for Upcoming Events

Virtual Town Hall – November 9th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The virtual town hall is open to the public to express concerns, needs, and aspirations for 70 Mulberry Street. To register:

Workshop – November 10th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The workshop is open to any individual, organization, or group that has an interest or affiliation with 70 Mulberry Street. The workshop will develop rebuilding scenarios informed by the feedback gathered through the first series of community meetings. To register:

The 90-day vision process will conclude in mid-December with the publication of a final report based on what is learned. The goal is to have a shared vision for the future of the building.

“Participating in the visioning process will help ensure the voices of neighbors and community organizations who have a stake in the future of 70 Mulberry Street are heard,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “On November 9, a virtual town hall will be help so that members of the public can express their hopes and concerns about the future of the site. I commend Commissioner Camilo and DCAS for presenting this opportunity for feedback and engagement and look forward to hearing more from the community.”

“70 Mulberry Street is an integral part of Chinatown’s history and served vital social functions,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velؘؘázquez. “It is crucial that all community stakeholders have their voices heard and are fully engaged to ensure a timely restoration that preserves the building’s heritage while embracing the future. I call on all stakeholders to participate in the survey and townhall to help envision the future of this local gem.”

“I thank the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services, my colleagues in elected office, the Community Advisory Group, and the facilitators from 3x3 Design for continuing their efforts to ensure an inclusive visioning process for this enormously important project,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh, who represents Chinatown. “I encourage everyone who cares about this beloved building to participate in the virtual town hall on November 9th to learn more about the visioning and rebuilding process and to ensure that the plan for 70 Mulberry Street is reflective of the community’s needs and aspirations.”

“November 9th begins the next phase of essential community engagement for the future of 70 Mulberry with a virtual town hall to listen to community priorities,” said Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou. “3x3 Designs and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services have set up community oriented and community based plans for the future which are key in the rebuilding process. I look forward to hearing from our community and continuing our community partnership with both 3X3 and DCAS as we move forward.”

“70 Mulberry holds a special place in the heart of Chinatown residents. The Chinese word for ‘crisis’ can be used to describe both change and opportunity. Similarly, the revitalization of 70 Mulberry is an opportunity to create permanent space for organizations that have been serving the community for decades,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “During the first round of community engagement, we heard from a diverse group of stakeholders and I look forward to continuing this at the town hall, the workshop and a survey. My office is working with 3x3 Design and the community to bridge the digital divide and facilitate a clear and constructive visioning process for the future of this beloved community center.”

“Community Board 3 is pleased that many stakeholders participated in the first round of the engagement process and expressed their opinions on the rebuilding of 70 Mulberry Street,” said Jacky Wong, Chair of the Land Use, Zoning, Public and Private Housing Committee of Community Board 3. “The second round of engagement is comprised of a Virtual Town hall on November 9th and a workshop on November 10th to develop rebuild scenarios and surveys. These events together comprise an important next step to further this community dialogue. Community Board 3 encourages local residents and other stakeholders to continue to participate in this process and share their vision on the future of this important Chinatown building.”

“Chen Dance Center wishes for community members, businesses, organizations and displaced constituents such as students and their families, artists and staff to participate in the culminating conversations for the rebuilding of 70 Mulberry Street,” said H.T. Chen, Artistic Director, Chen Dance Center. “Our many audiences from throughout the city also await the return of the cultural and social service programs that made this building a keystone for community life in Chinatown. Please join us for the November 9th virtual town hall and workshop.”

“The Chinese-American Planning Council encourages community members to continue participating in the visioning process for the rebuilding of 70 Mulberry Street,” said Wayne Ho, President and CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council. “We are delighted that our seniors have had a voice in the process, and we look forward to having CPC’s Chinatown Senior Center return to the site as soon as possible. Thank you again to the Mayor’s Office, DCAS, DFTA, and elected officials for their support since the fire.”

“CMP urges community residents, neighborhood business owners, local property owners, and program participants of the original non-profit tenants of 70 Mulberry Street to actively participate in this critical process so their voices can be heard and taken into account while the City moves forward as soon as possible to rebuilding 70 Mulberry Street as a hub of social services, cultural and art facility, sport and leadership programs, and a community asset” said Hong Shing Lee, Executive Director of Chinese Manpower Project. “For almost a year, the loss of 70 Mulberry Street impacted the lives of our community members deeply. This is the opportunity for us to speak out and let the City know how we see the new 70 Mulberry Street building can positively affect our lives in generations to come.”

“November 9 is an important day for the Chinatown community,” said Nancy Yao Maasbach, president of the Museum of Chinese in America. “Attend the virtual townhall to share your priorities for 70 Mulberry. The rebuilding of this historic building is a milestone opportunity for Chinatown residents and social service recipients impacted by the devastating fire to the historic building on January 23, 2020. Through this unprecedented participatory process organized by DCAS, the Chinatown community will have a true community center for years to come and NYC will have a model for intentional and authentic public service.”

“United East Athletics Association thanks all the individuals and organizations, including our local residents, business and property owners, for sharing their comments on rebuilding 70 Mulberry Street during the first round visioning forums,” said Echo Wong, Treasurer and Board of Director of United East Athletics Association. “Everyone has spoken in support of all five original tenants returning to this location. It means a lot to us as UEAA is still without a home and is unable to continue our regular programming for our children, elderly members and new immigrants. The invaluable comments from the community will help shaped a better future for 70 Mulberry Street as it continues to serve its neighborhood as well as other residents of New York City. We look forward to hearing more from the community at the town hall and workshop in November.”

In July, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced $80 million in funding to rebuild 70 Mulberry Street and the creation of an advisory committee that will support public engagement. No additional demolition work is planned and the City will prioritize options to preserve what is salvageable from the existing structure and a re-development that acknowledges the history and significance of the site. All building tenants who were displaced by the fire will be welcomed back to 70 Mulberry Street when construction is completed. Since the January fire, the City successfully recovered the vast majority of tenant possessions that remained in the building, assisted with the relocation of tenants, and undertook work at the site to best ensure public safety.

About DCAS

The Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) provides shared services to support the operations of New York City government. Its commitment to equity, effectiveness, and sustainability guides its work with City agencies on recruiting, hiring, and training employees; providing facilities management for 56 public buildings; acquiring, selling, and leasing City property; purchasing more than $1 billion in supplies and equipment each year; and implementing conservation and safety programs through the City's facilities and vehicle fleet.