There was a ribbon cutting, complete with the traditional lion dance, at Hong Ning Housing yesterday morning in celebration of the completion of a renovation project at the senior complex at 50 Norfolk St.
The 155-unit building just received a $2.5 million upgrade, including new elevators, a remodeled kitchen, a redesigned lobby featuring hand-painted wallpaper and improved karaoke and activity rooms. Hong Ning was developed in the 1970s by the Chinese American Planning Council. Yesterday’s festivities were led by Wayne Ho, president and CEO of the Chinatown social services organization.
Ho noted that CPC also recently added a Resident Wellness Coordinator to bring new programs to Hong Ning Housing. The project was made possible through a mortgage refinancing initiative facilitated by the federal Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
The senior building is right next door to Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, the 167-year-old synagogue that was nearly destroyed by fire last month. The Chinese American Planning Council and the synagogue have been collaborating on a mixed use development plan, utilizing a parking lot behind the shul. That plan was to include a restoration of the synagogue, which was abandoned several years ago. Following yesterday’s ribbon cutting, Ho told us he does not yet know the fate of the development plans. He’s waiting to hear the results of engineering studies to determine whether any part of the synagogue can be salvaged.