In the 1980’s, former Mayor Ed Koch planned to build a detention center in Chinatown due to its proximity to court area and NYPD headquarter. However, the proposal triggered a series of community protests and rallies with the apprehension of deteriorating security and quality of life. Although the effort to revoke the plan was unsuccessful, through community advocacy and a united front, Chinatown was able to negotiate with the City for a parcel of the land next to the detention center to build the Chung Pak complex.

Today, the Chung Pak complex consists of two non-profit organizations that provide 88 senior citizen affordable housing units, 15,000 square feet community facility spaces as well as many retail establishments serving the working families in the Manhattan Downtown area.