Eddie Huang calls out area landlord for ‘shielding’ NYC mayor’s plan to build 29-level jail in Chinatown

Eddie Huang opposes Mayor de Blasio’s jail development plan in Chinatown

Restaurateur Eddie Huang has shown his support for a recent petition that accuses New York Chinatown landlord Jonathan Chu of accepting bribes in exchange for supporting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to construct a 29-story jail on White Street.

Protect Chinatown: Huang, 39, took to Instagram on Friday to accuse both the Chu family and the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), where Jonathan Chu is a board member, of acting as a shield for de Blasio’s proposed jail project.

 

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  • [de Blasio] is paying the Chus and Moca to operate as a shield for his dirty work. These are the types of Asian Americans who have been taking money to sell our neighborhoods out from under us,” Huang wrote. “They sit on boards, they talk about community, they take money, but never put it back in the community.”
  • Huang, who is also an attorney, then promoted the petition organized by People’s First NYC and Youth Against Displacement, which claimed de Blasio bribed Chu and MOCA with $35 million.
  • The project is part of de Blasio’s $8.3 billion effort to replace Rikers Island jails with four smaller ones spread throughout four boroughs, notably in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. The construction reportedly began in Queens’ Kew Gardens in June 2021, as per the city’s official website.
  • Chu, who also owns the historic Jing Fong dining hall in Chinatown that closed its doors permanently due to the pandemic, has responded to Huang’s allegations on Instagram, describing the restaurateur’s action as “offensive” and “dangerous.”

 

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  • The petition has also demanded that the Chu family reopen Jing Fong and help hundreds of displaced workers. They also called on the state government to lower the real estate tax for small property owners and end displacement by “rejecting the SoHo/NoHo rezoning and passing the FULL Chinatown Working Group plan to protect the entirety of Chinatown and the Lower East Side.”

Other details: Although the project hit a setback in September 2020 because of “major implications,” the State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division turned the ruling around in April 2021, allowing the government to demolish the Manhattan Detention Complex on White Street and replace it with the 29-story jail, according to The Tribeca Trib.

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Featured Image via @mreddiehuang

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