Ting Announces $4 Million From California Budget To Help With San Francisco’s Portsmouth Square Project

For immediate release:
Ting Announces $4M In State Funding For SF's Portsmouth Square

The exciting redesign of Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square got a boost today with an announcement from Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) that the project will receive $4 million in state funding. The investment is part of a continued effort to prioritize Asian American Pacific Islanders communities, complementing last year’s $166.5 million API Equity Budget.

“It’s important that residents in this densely populated neighborhood have a place to enjoy the outdoors within walking distance of their homes. A more open and inviting layout will better serve seniors and multigenerational families who enjoy using Portsmouth Square,” said Ting. “I’m happy to lead the efforts to partner with the City in making sure we address the needs of API communities, and they get the investment they deserve.”

Portsmouth Square has been a gathering place since the 1830s and has been the symbolic heart of the Bay Area’s Chinese American community. Today, with thousands residing in the surrounding single-room occupancy hotels, the park is essentially their living room. But it’s currently fragmented and the Kearney Street bridge, also known as the “bridge to nowhere,” blocks the sunshine over a large area. The project includes making the 1.5-acre park more cohesive and upgrading it by dismantling the concrete bridge, modernizing the elevator and building a new two-story clubhouse for classes, exercise equipment and play areas. The redesign is possible because of Proposition A, a bond measure approved by San Francisco voters in 2020. State funding will help with increased costs due to inflation and supply issues.

“Assemblymember Ting continues to be a champion for equitable investments in the API community. I want to thank him for always putting the community first, and delivering on investments in cultural preservation, public safety and health & wellness. This $4 million will ensure that Chinatown’s living room will truly encompass all these priorities,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who worked on the previous Portsmouth bond financing.

“Portsmouth Square is Chinatown’s most important landmark. Seniors, children, families, and the community gather here for meetings, rallies, celebrations, COVID testing/vaccinations, food distribution, and many other activities. It is Chinatown’s ’extended living room.’ We have waited for this major ’facelift’ for Portsmouth Square for more than 10 years. Thanks to Assemblymember Ting for making sure there is adequate funding for our beloved park,” said Anni Chung, CEO of Self Help For The Elderly, which currently leases the park’s clubhouse.

Construction is anticipated to begin late next year.