Dear Editor:

I am encouraged by the willingness of the developers of the Goodwill site to work more closely with the community to create a development that benefits all parties (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 18-31). The Vietnamese American Economic Development Association (VAEDA) and other members of the Dearborn Street Coalition for a Livable Neighborhood (DCLN) look forward to fruitful talks with Mr. Vange and his partners.

Besides VAEDA, DCLN is comprised of Inter*Im, Jackson Place Community Council, International District Housing Alliance, Seattle Alliance for Good Jobs and Housing for Everyone, Squire Park Community Council, Beacon Alliance of Neighbors, and Beacon Ridge Improvement Council. In addition, VAEDA and other coalition members have collected over 1500 signatures of business owners, residents, customers, and concerned citizens who believe that this project needs to be improved and the impacts to the community need to be mitigated before they give their support. Our coalition continues to grow as others see the enormity of this development and the impact it will have on this area.

We see an opportunity to work with the developers to create something unique and wonderful. Our vision is for a mixed-use development that fosters a sense of community by connecting and bringing together the diverse surrounding neighborhoods. It will be a development that: supports the cultural and economic vitality of Little Saigon, Chinatown/ID, and surrounding communities, promotes appropriate economic activity, provides affordable housing, and enhances the quality of life for all. Some might believe these to be unrealistic ideals but we are convinced that our vision is in line with the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Without an infusion of bold civic ideals, a project of this scale would be nothing more than a glorified suburban mall.

We are glad to hear that Mr. Vange has made some design modification to the development based on our inputs. We will continue to provide him with more inputs as this design evolves. However, our main concerns continue to be the size and nature of the development, and the resulting traffic and economic impacts that will befall the surrounding neighborhoods. Our support of this project continues to be contingent on arriving at a legally binding agreement with the developer that relieves our concerns, incorporates our vision, and provide sufficient mitigation. We encourage the City Council to seriously consider the impact to the surrounding neighborhoods and the mitigation provided before a decision is made on the proposed change in the zoning map in the Comprehensive Plan.

Quang H. Nguyen
VAEDA Executive Director
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