Dear Editor:

My project partners and I fully acknowledge that the Dearborn Street project will bring change to Little Saigon and the rest of the International District, as was outlined in the article in the Sept. 20 issue of the International Examiner. This is why we, as the developer, want to be good neighbors and work with the community.

Our goal is to build a pedestrian-oriented community that will reconnect neighborhoods – a concept that has received broad-base support. In addition to retail and housing, Dearborn Street will include new, much-needed facilities for Goodwill.

The headline in the Examiner’s Sept. 20 article, “Community members say Draft SEIS for Dearborn Street Project is incomplete,” speaks directly to the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement process. Environmental impact statements are written and publicly examined precisely so that members of the community can express their opinions about a project. This helps the City of Seattle and developers better understand these concerns and respond to them.

We welcome this opportunity for citizens to voice their concerns and would never expect a Draft SEIS to be complete. We want to hear from the community, and in the past few months, we have already responded to neighborhood concerns and changed the project accordingly. During the design review process, for instance, we learned that some people felt that the South Weller Street side of the project was not active enough. We repositioned the development so that all of the stores and residences on all sides, including Weller, will face outward and connect to the existing neighborhoods.

During the Sept. 12 SEIS hearing, we heard comments on a range of issues – which is great feedback – and now we all have an opportunity to work on the issues that have been identified.

We recognize that for Dearborn Street to succeed, our planning must be collaborative. We look forward to continuing to have conversations with the community to ensure that Dearborn Street benefits not only future residents of the neighborhood, but also our current neighbors.

Darrell Vange
Dearborn Street Developers LLC
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