Philadelphia’s ‘Chinatown Stitch’ project gets $158 million federal grant


“The Chinatown Stitch” project is receiving a $158 million federal grant to reunite the long-divided Chinatown neighborhood in Philadelphia.

The grant: On Monday, Pennsylvania Democratic politicians, including U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, U.S. Reps. Brendan Boyle and Dwight Evans, along with Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker, joined Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) Executive Director John Chin to announce the substantial federal funding award from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“We're here today to announce funding to reconnect Chinatown decades after Chinatown residents suffered the consequences of harmful infrastructure decisions that divided their neighborhood,” Casey said at the press conference.

About the project: In December, PCDC and PennDOT unveiled the design plan to mend the disconnected parts of Chinatown by creating an inviting green space and implementing safe street designs, prioritizing the well-being of the elderly, young and individuals with disabilities. The project involves capping two and a half blocks between 10th and 13th streets along the Vine Street Expressway.

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Community support: The initiative received support from the community, with residents expressing hope for positive change. Preliminary design and engineering are projected to occur over the next few years. If successful, construction could commence in 2027.

76ers arena: The announcement comes amid ongoing discussions about a proposed Philadelphia 76ers arena near Chinatown, with stakeholders awaiting the city’s impact report on that project. The arena proposal, announced in July 2022, was immediately met with fierce criticism from the members of Chinatown, who are worried about limited parking, traffic congestion, gentrification, displacement and the loss of Chinese culture in the area. Despite concerns, officials emphasize that “The Chinatown Stitch” and the arena development are unrelated.

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