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C-Mart in Chinatown to close Tuesday, consolidate with nearby location

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  April 8, 2013 06:02 PM

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Jeremy C. Fox for Boston.com

The Herald Street C-Mart location, seen here, will soon be the store’s only location in downtown Boston. The Washington Street location will close Tuesday.

The C-Mart supermarket on Washington Street in Chinatown will close for good this week, a spokesman said Monday.

After nearly a decade at 692 Washington St., the store will close Tuesday, and C-Mart will consolidate its operations at its other nearby location, across the Massachusetts Turnpike at the corner of Herald and Washington streets, according to Stephen Crawford, a spokesman for C-Mart owner Michael Fang.

“As many employees as possible will be transitioned to the Herald Street C-Mart,” Crawford said in an e-mail.

Crawford said that the lease on the Washington Street location is set to expire this summer, prompting the move.

The Herald Street C-Mart was the subject of controversy last year when some Chinatown leaders publicly opposed the issuance of a new lease for the market by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, which owns the Herald Street property.

Tufts University and the New England Medical Center conveyed the Herald Street property to the benevolent association in a 1983 deal in which the association represented the Chinatown community.

The university and the hospital gave Chinatown the site for development of public housing, along with a $100,000 scholarship fund and $100,000 for job training, in exchange for a promise that residents would not oppose institutional expansion in the neighborhood.

But the association never used the site for housing; instead, it has been rented out as a supermarket space for two decades. Leaders of the association’s board defended the lease last year, saying it would enable them to plan for development of housing at a later date.

The Sampan bilingual newspaper, published from Chinatown by the non-profit Asian American Civic Association, recently reported that members of the association’s asset committee had met with developers the Hudson Group to discuss options for redeveloping the site as housing.

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @jeremycfox.
Follow Downtown on Twitter: @YTDowntown.

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