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Evacuated Chinatown Building To Be Demolished

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TWC News: Evacuated Chinatown Building To Be Demolished
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An unstable building in Manhattan with a history of problems will have to be torn down after being evacuated Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities say most of the residents have left the building on Hester Street in Chinatown and taken to a nearby shelter. They have since been able to go back in to get some of their things.

Many say the conditions in the building have been deteriorating for months and the problems were ignored.

"Leaking in the boiler, in the basement. Staircase problems, unstable. Cracks on the wall, holes in the ceiling, termites on the floor, holes in the floor. Everywhere has problems, but when you call the landlord, no one picks up the phone," said Building tenant Wallace Lei.

"This is becoming a trend in the neighborhood and a lot of owners are not doing anything to fix up the buildings," said Chris Kui of Asian Americans for Equality. "They leave the building in really poor condition and people are living under these terrible situations for a long long time."

The Department of Buildings says the six-story structure has had 32 violations since 2005. Officials also say the building sits next to the site of a future hotel and are investigating whether construction compromised the building.

There is no word on when residents will have to be out for good.

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