Japantown’s Hotel Battle Comes to an End, But Community’s Struggles Continue

Peninsula Press' Natasha Jessen-Petersen talks to Steve Nakajo, the executive director of the Japantown Taskforce, and others in the community to discuss the role of Japanese American history and the future of Japantown.

Hotel Kimpton Buchanan was used during the pandemic to house the homeless – a move that was supported by the Japantown community. However, news that city officials intended to purchase the hotel and permanently convert the building into supportive housing units, was met with strong pushback. Over 7,600 people signed a petition calling for city officials to rescind their offer.

Time was of the essence. Japantown community members had only two weeks to compile an economic vitality report and prove the financial importance of the hotel to Japantown. Before the deadline, however, the hotel owners decided not to sell, citing the Japantown community in their decision.

Peninsula Press’ Natasha Jessen-Petersen talks to Steve Nakajo, the executive director of the Japantown Taskforce, and others in the community to discuss the role of Japanese American history and the future of Japantown.

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