PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia's community leaders gathered in Chinatown on Friday to break ground on a long-awaited project.
The Eastern Tower Community is a $75 million project that will go up at 10th and Vine streets.
For more than 20 years, Chinatown's leaders planned and hoped to get this concept off the ground.
"This project along generates $23 million per year in economic development, 900 jobs from this development. This just means more people will be coming and living in Chinatown," said John Chin of the Chinatown Development Corp. "We're diverse, we're going to be more diverse because this is going to be a destination neighborhood.
The 20-story building will feature 150 apartments, mostly for senior citizens, and plenty of space for young people's activities as well, including recreation, education and community events.
It took the financiers a long time to get on board.
"We want to make sure we get involved in projects that have a transformational impact on the communities," said Reza Aghamirzadeh of Citizens Bank.
Longtime Chinatown businessmen and residents believe this will launch their community into a new orbit, beyond its borders.
"We'll have a place to meet people, and a lot of people can come in and work," said Chinatown pharmacist Gary Ng.
The tower is expected to be completed by late 2019.
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