SEATTLE — After years of searching, Friends of Little Saigon has announced the acquisition of a prime property at South Jackson Street and 10th Avenue South in Seattle for their long-awaited Vietnamese Culture and Economic Center. According to The Seattle Times, the non-profit organization purchased the property for $6.4 million to establish a cultural hub that encompasses affordable housing, commercial spaces, history and art exhibitions, and cultural programs.
Executive Director Quynh Pham reported securing $11 million in funding, including a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support predevelopment. The city’s Equitable Development Initiative recently contributed $75,000 to back the project.
A significant portion of the budget will be allocated to the residential aspect, managed in partnership with the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority. The organization intends to raise between $3 million to $5 million through government grants, foundation grants, and individual contributions. The groundbreaking ceremony is anticipated to take place in 2025.
Currently, the Dong Hing Market occupies the site, and it plans to remain operational for the time being. However, the non-profit aims to demolish the existing building and construct the new center.
“We’re working closely with them to think about a relocation plan and provide support,” Pham stated.
Friends of Little Saigon envisions a unique approach to affordable housing, with units accommodating entire households rather than offering just studios or one-bedroom apartments. The development is expected to feature over 70 units of affordable housing.