Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flushing Commons = Koreans vs. Chinese

From the NY Times:

To the city, the lot is one part piggy bank, one part branding opportunity. Selling it could yield much-needed money at a time of belt-tightening and give the Bloomberg administration a chance to replicate its development model deep into the boroughs outside Manhattan — a mix of homes, offices and retail space that is ambitious in appearance and size.

Developers see an opportunity to cash in on a thriving area already bursting at the seams. Outside Times Square, according to city transportation officials, Flushing is home to the city’s busiest transportation hub and intersection, Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue, about two blocks from the parking lot.

A builder from Manhattan and another from Flushing, whom the city chose in 2005, have pledged to spend $850 million on 600 new housing units, 420,000 square feet of commercial space, a Yand a park on the five-acre lot.

As with any other large project, opponents quickly rose up to criticize the scope of the plan. But the project, named Flushing Commons, has also revealed deeper tensions in the overwhelmingly Asian neighborhood, divisions that cut largely across country lines.

On one side are Chinese immigrants whose businesses lie largely out of sight of the planned construction zone and who have lined up behind the local developer, a compatriot named Michael Lee, of the TDC Development and Construction Corporation. On the other side are Korean immigrants whose stores are clustered around the lot, bordered by Union Street, 138th Street and 37th and 39th Avenues.

On a radio talk show he produces that airs on WWRU (1660 AM), a Korean-language station that reaches New York and surrounding states, Terry Huangpo has devoted several segments to Flushing Commons, inviting listeners to share their concerns. It was not the project itself that business owners were worried about, but where customers would park while it was being built.

“Flushing town is very good place for Korea business,” he said in halting English on a recent Thursday. “But after construction, it’s going to be a Chinatown. Korea stores cannot survive construction.”

A City Council subcommittee is scheduled to vote on the project at a public hearing on Thursday and the full Council is expected to do so by the end of the month. It will be the first time the Council will vote on a development since it dealt Mr. Bloomberg a resounding defeat in February, when it rejected a plan to convert the former Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx into a mall.


Anonymous said...

I have no idea what the Times was thinking with this. The lone statement supporting the crux of the story is a Korean talk radio host? That's it?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Koreans came in the 80's when Main Street Flushing was at rock bottom and revived the district. They cater to their own as well as the general public. The Chinese came in much later pushing out the Korean with their sheer numbers, some Koreans simply moved to the suburbs by this time as they are more upwardly mobile in lifestye and business goals.

Queens Crapper said...

Actually, no, it isn't, but realizing that would mean you would have to click the link and read the entire story. What horror!

Klink Cannoli said...

A perfect example on why you need to aggressively assimilate your immigrants.

Anonymous said...

Haha, they are all as racist as everyone else.

At least its the one thing we all have in common!

Anonymous said...

...and with the Flushing Commons project, the colonization of Flushing by the Taiwanese will be complete.

I'm sorry that the Koreans feel as if they are being forced out by the Chinese. Welcome to the club!

Hooray for Bloomberg. Onto Wellington Pointe.

Lino said...

This is reminds me of what has long gone-on in Bangkok. The Thai-Chinese or Chinese immigrants are the merchant class and increasingly, the political class well. They are the Jews of Thailand with an outsized impact on economic, social and foreign policy.

The average Thai nation either works them, farms or has their own dreary shophouse business.

There is increasing tension over the growing influence of China.

In Flushing the situation is interesting because it pits two -very- rapacious groups against each other. There is likely a lot of offshore money flowing in.

Never thought I'd have to feel sorry for Koreans..this will be something to watch.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that the Koreans feel as if they are being forced out by the Chinese. Welcome to the club!


Anonymous said...

How come no one has asked what NYC makes in parking fees and fines from Muni Lot #1?

I would!

How come "follow the buck" Chuck Apelian and his brainless, spineless cohorts at CB 7 never asked?

It seeems that will be lost revenue that's badly needed for the city.

In fact...why sell the lot at all?

lease it instead (99 years)!

Then if the developer (and Wellington Chen...we know you're behind this project so show us your face instead of letting your errand boy Meyers front for you) try to fuck NYC with their plans, the city can screw them right back by taking back the land!

Hey Bloomberg...are you listening?
Surely one of your troll keeps tabs for you on "Queens Crap"!

Anonymous said...

Where is this Flushing Commons site located? Anybody know what street or the address? Thanks...

Lino said...

Anonymous said...

Where is this Flushing Commons site located? Anybody know what street or the address? Thanks...

-It's in Flushing at the end of the 7 line with Union ave at the east and 39th ave at south, about a block away from Northern blvd.

Invictus said...

If the tone and the facts of the article are based in facts, then I will need to question the silence that has come from the Chinese faction. Perhaps that one Chinese business owner has decided to remain quiet even though he/she? disagrees with the project.

To believe that this new development will benefit one group at the expense of another is naive.

The only people that this project will benefit will be those behind the developer and the megamarts that will take over Flushing.

Behind this hidden logo of "development" and betterment of an economically "depressed" neighborhood! comes the trojan horse of gentrification but instead of happening in a predominantly Hispanic or Black neighborhood, it will take place in a working class Asian one.

FF, 10 years, you will notice the lack of color and the major gridlock that such a horrible development will have brought to the Flushing area. Moreover, the lack of variety of mixed ethnic stores that make the area interesting, will be history.

People need to wake up to the reality that is being placed upon them.

The NYTimes article itself seems to be spreading the misinformation and rumors between two of the ethnic communities that will lose the most from Flushing Commons.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that the area that the Korean businesses located on Union Street in aren't included in the BID (Business Improvement District)?

From what we've heard the Koreans chose to opt out because they didn't want to be assessed by the BID.

Is that also true?

I have never met an Asian who didn't hate another Asian from another Asian country or district within their own country.

Fuck 'em all for not assimilating and choosing to have American colonies instead!

Anonymous said...

Well now in addition to "Wellington (Willets) Pointe" let's now change Flushing's name to "Wellingtowne".

I'm sure his Shanghai group will love it.

Imagine NYC selling muni lot #1 to overseas communist Chinese interests.

Gary Ackerman must be jumping for joy too because his good friend and associate at the Queens Trib, Michael Nussbam, might finally get permission from the red Chinese to open up his sex clubs in their country.

"Shanghai Nights"...weren't they to be called that?

Anonymous said...

We understand that Chuck Apelian wasn't very pleased about those stipulations being ignored that CB# 7 insisted on for the Flushing Commons project in exchange for them voting for approving it.

Shaft up your ass...Chuck!

Next time show some balls and vote no.

Anonymous said...

Get off the Za Bwe at Fwa Shing on Meng Street, walk up Ru Zwa Avenue, then bear left on On Yong Street until Na Dwan Blvd, then bear north for five miles until you escape to Na Zwa County

Anonymous said...

So flushing went from middle-class educated jews, to hispanics and blacks, to asian population. Hmmmm...

Unknown said...

The Board of NO Standards must be comprised of Village Idiots. Parking in Flushing is similar if not worse than Manhattan. These POS's & Dept of Finance [summons division] are in cahoots to make money for the city wasters. The Meter Maids can't keep up with the summons they print. The more traffic and less parking is a boon to the city coffers. The only redeeming feature of Flushing is that it did not become another Jamaica. Some of you bitch about Koreans & Chinese not assimilating, well that's only partly true. Place the blame where it belongs......Washington, DC. They allow any and all Legal or ILLEGAL in, hey everyone of them is a potential Democratic Voter. We are SCREWED and have not been kissed.