More than 3,000 people once worked at the massive Richman Bros. complex on East 55th Street, stitching and tailoring men’s suits for the largest clothing chain in America.
When he walks the empty colossus today, Derek Ng (pronounced “ing”) envisions a different scenario on floors that stretch like football fields. He sees high-tech manufacturing, creative studios, and condos with lake views.
No one in Cleveland is going bankroll his $100 million dream, Ng acknowledges with a shrug.
“In China, people have money now,” said Ng, an upbeat, 39-year-old immigrant from Hong Kong. “They’re looking for places to invest their money. And they want to feel part of the U.S.”
Ng and his father, Shea Kui Ng, bought the Richman Bros. complex in 2009 with the idea of using Chinese investors to shape it into something new. First, they soon realized, they needed to introduce Cleveland to China.
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