The Chinatown-International District’s Little Saigon neighborhood in Seattle will be home to the new Vietnamese Culture and Economic Center.
About the center: After more than a decade of planning and fundraising, nonprofit Friends of Little Sài Gòn (FLS) secured the 16,500-square-foot property on South Jackson Street on Sept. 11. The Vietnamese center, which is estimated to cost $55 million, will include commercial spaces, over 70 units of affordable housing, history and art exhibitions and cultural programs.
“We are here today because of the hard work, sacrifices and dreams of those who came before us, and we are excited to continue this work for the next generation,” FLS board president Tam Dinh said, according to Crosscut.
Preserving Vietnamese culture: The project, which is part of the Little Saigon 2030 Action Plan, was created to support the Little Saigon neighborhood, preserve its history and culture and bring positive change to the community. FLS was formed in 2011 to address concerns about the survival of Little Saigon due to issues like housing, crime and displacement.
“Our project is unique because it’s been such a long-term vision for this community, to own and control our own site,” FLS Executive Director Quynh Pham told The Seattle Times. “We really want to inject more positivity and give our community members hope there’s change coming into the community we can be proud of.”
Funding for the center: FLS aims to raise $3 to 5 million through grants and contributions and hopes to break ground in 2025. The nonprofit organization has already reportedly secured $11 million in funding, with a federal grant and city support. As for the cost of most of the residential portion, it will be managed in partnership with the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority.