A languishing Chinatown mall nestled under the Manhattan Bridge in New York City is getting a new chance at life in the hands of a new operator.
Background: For decades, East Broadway Mall was a bustling shopping center and community hub in the heart of Chinatown. Unfortunately, years of alleged neglect and a crippling pandemic decimated the mall to dozens of vacant storefronts, with only a few shops standing as its lifeline.
The mall’s current operator, Terry Chan, struggled to pay rent and eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2019. In October 2022, Curbed reported that he owed the city more than $12 million, including $4.5 million in late fees.
New hope: A tentative agreement has been reached with a new operator, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services said this week. Broadway East Group LLC will have 16 months to invest $5 million into renovations and pay back millions to the city and the Bank of Hope, where the previous leaseholder held a mortgage, The City reported.
“I was there from day one, when it was a parking lot, so I know everything about this shopping mall,” developer Bill Lam, a principal member of the new leaseholder, told The City. “Right now it needs a major cash infusion to change everything, to make it attractive again, because it’s been neglected for the last 10, 15 years.”
What’s next: The deal is pending approval by the Manhattan Borough Board, which is scheduled to meet on Sept. 27. With the city’s greenlight, Lam hopes to begin work by the end of the year or early next year.