I am an activist who has talked to many, many people and have listened to their stories, wants, and needs. Now I am going to form a company that will end world suffering. God sent me!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Goodwill Dearborn Project in Seattle

Here is the evidence from the Vietnamese Community in Seattle, WA begging for our help not to let Goodwill and the City go ahead with this plan. They will all lose their way of life. Don't let the Vietnames, Koreans, Chinese, and Japanese in Seattle lose their businesses to this corrupt bunch of politicians! Seattle is corrupt!!!!!!

I have posted videos all over the net to include Youtube about the Goodwill Dearborn Project. Please watch those videos of Seattle. Just Google my username of SassysOpinion.

Seattle's Little Saigon Fears New ‘Mega Development’
International Examiner, News Feature, Ken Mochizuki, Posted: May 24, 2006 Review it on NewsTrust
Quang Nguyen, executive director of the Vietnamese American Economic Development Association (VAEDA), sent out e-mails marked “URGENT” to members of Seattle’s Little Saigon and International District communities:

“Our small mom-and-pop businesses in Little Saigon are facing potential displacement in the near future due to a mega-development to be built at our doorstep.

“Once built, the Goodwill/Dearborn development will cause a massive increase in traffic that will deter traditional customers from shopping and eating in Little Saigon. This will have the effect of choking off the lifeline to the small businesses in our community. Imagine what’s happening along Martin Luther King Jr. Way happening here. People will not want to come to this area anymore because traffic will be so bad.

“If you’re a business owner; if you shop and eat here; if you’re Vietnamese, you should care what happens because it will definitely impact your life.”

The “what’s happening” on King Way Nguyen referred to is the displacement of 75 businesses, by some estimates, due to construction of Sound Transit’s light rail project. Vietnamese Americans operate many of those businesses.

What has VAEDA and the Little Saigon neighborhood presently concerned is the planned $300 million, 600,000 square-foot mixed-use development at the present site of Goodwill Industries at Rainier Avenue South and South Dearborn Street. The development, proceeding under the temporary name “Dearborn Street,” might include major retail stores such as Target or Fred Meyer, Best Buy and Petco, with 450 residential units above the stores — 40 of those to be condos selling for $400,000 each — and the creation of 2,300 parking spaces, according to VAEDA. The developers, TRF Pacific and Ravenhurst Development, will build an additional, new 120,000 square-foot facility for Goodwill.

At a May 11 meeting in Little Saigon attended by business owners and representatives from community development organizations, Nguyen said the development will “draw from all areas south of the Ship Canal,” adding to traffic congestion already existing around Rainier and Dearborn, especially on weekends. Nguyen added that the development could also commence an unsettling trend.

“Building something this large is going to cause developers to salivate,” he said, and that city rezoning of the area for residential use will turn it into “another Belltown.”

“Developers don’t say that, but that’s their intention,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen emphasized that a “solid position” from the Little Saigon community is needed to present to the developers. There are two options, he said: “fight this — it is not appropriate for you to build it”; or “bring them to the negotiating table — we don’t like it, but you can realize it if you work with us. We will be against the project until we come to an agreement we deem fair.”

The second option, he said, is the “most viable.”

Reactions from the Little Saigon business owners reflected how they felt about the “mega-development” threatening their livelihood and Little Saigon as the heart of local Vietnamese American culture:

“Our business is our culture.”

“Vietnamese who live in Edmonds come down here.”

“I was told, ‘They took the blacks out of this area, then they took the Filipinos out, now it’s your turn.’ This is the greatest crisis for the Vietnamese American community in the past decade.”

“If we don’t think for ourselves, somebody else is going to think for us.”

“To them, we’re just a bee circling around them and annoying them.”

“Certain retailers cannot be in the project that will compete with Little Saigon businesses, like a jewelry store or a LensCrafters.”

“If we wait to figure out what we want, they’ll be under construction by then.”

The Little Saigon community members agreed to work on that “solid position” and mobilize the Vietnamese American community to support it.

Darrell Vange, president of Ravenhurst Development, said he has met with VAEDA and Little Saigon community representatives many times, and that discussions have been “constructive.”

Construction is expected to begin on the Dearborn Street project during summer or fall of 2007, and projected to be completed by 2010. Only then is when retailers who occupy the facility will be known, Vange said. Four hundred-fifty to 500 residential units are being planned, but unknown at this time are the “mix, sizes and costs,” he said, adding that the units could be half condos/half apartments.

“If the rental situation improves, there could be more apartments,” Vange said. “But I’m not making any projections – it’s way too early.”

As for the complex’s parking spaces, he said there is planned to be a total of 2,307, but could end up being “100 less, 200 less, or 50 more.”

The developers have an Environmental Impact Statement “under way” and, when completed, neighboring communities can comment on changes and concerns about traffic, Vange said. “It is a very well-known, well-publicized, very public process,” he said. “Traffic is everyone’s first concern, including ours.”

Property values and taxes increase when a neighborhood is rezoned, he said. The Dearborn Street project will operate under a “contract rezone,” which applies only to the project’s property, he said. The City of Seattle is considering the rezoning of all neighborhoods, and what the City decides, Vange said, will have more impact on the Little Saigon community “than our project will.”

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