The Publix Hotel in the International District (ID), owned by the Moriguchi family, has been vacant for a decade. The family also owns Uwajimaya. We watched its decay over the years as a place for transients and bird droppings. But the groundbreaking on Feb. 9 signaled a new beginning, not only for the neighborhood, but for the Asian community.
We are excited that the Publix development is headed by Miye Moriguchi, a third-generation member of the Moriguchi family. This will bring new ideas, leadership, and energy for the family as well as development. Mia, a graduate of Yale University and has a degree in architecture, is the right person to lead the team.
A $24 million investment will create 125 affordable apartments with retail and other business development. The ID is already diverse, filled with residents of all ethnicities, newcomers and those who have called it home for years. This housing project will definitely increase the ID’s diversity and vibrancy. It will certainly revitalize the neighborhood and enhance the image of the ID. (See related article on P. 11.) Even though it has much to offer culturally, the ID has often had to face the stigma of being viewed as dirty, unsafe, and unappealing. This will change with the clean and attractive image of two new buildings on the block of 5th Ave. S.
In two years, the project will be completed. We can’t wait for the Publix Hotel to have its new face, new residents, and businesses to occupy the building.
We are looking forward to the development in the International District, and the new capital and jobs infused in the community. (end)