White Center Square groundbreaking: Good feng shui today
That’s our first photo from the groundbreaking less than an hour ago at the site of White Center Square; members of the Vong family, whose supermarket will anchor the new shopping center, participated along with contractors, architects, the head of King County Economic Development, and King County Council Chair Dow Constantine. We also spoke at the site with Soona Vili from White Center Community Development Association, who agreed it’s a “great day” for White Center. Rika Vong explained today was chosen for the groundbreaking because it has good feng shui – though the actual construction itself, according to the contractors, won’t start until sometime next month. Before the shovels turned dirt, the site was blessed with incense:
ADDED 12:49 PM: Our video of Constantine’s remarks:
Others who spoke at the event included Rika Vong (that’s not her in the screengrab but she’s the first person you’ll see if you hit “play”):
We talked on the sidelines with the contractors, who are from Bellevue-based Buchanan; they also worked on Meridian Station, with the same architect. And we spoke with a member of the Mullen family, which owned the property for a century before selling to the Vongs; they’re just happy to see something finally being done with the land. ADDED THURSDAY NIGHT: Here’s the official news release from King County:
Ground broken at White Center Square
$11 million project uses public funding, will create 60 jobs
The revitalization of the White Center community received a major boost this morning with the groundbreaking for an $11 million retail plaza in the neighborhood’s business district that utilizes a $6.25 million federal loan.
“There is very tight competition for these federal funds. This project won support from a review panel that includes representatives from across King County—and for several good reasons,” said Metropolitan King County Council Chair Dow Constantine, who represents the White Center neighborhood. “This project will create new retail space and new jobs, while providing a new home for a longtime community business, the Vong family’s Asian market.”
This retail project will bring 60 new jobs to White Center.
Legislation approved by the King County Council in March authorizes the Executive to borrow $6.25 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and re-lend those funds to the White Center Investment Fund, LLC. The legislation also pledges the County’s Community Development Block Grants funds as additional security for the loans. The White Center Square project will also benefit from a federal tax credit.
The investment Fund will use the loan to leverage the additional funding needed to complete a new 26,500 square foot retail/office plaza near Greenbridge. Greenbridge is a mixed-income community built on the site of the former Park Lake Homes, the King County Housing Authority’s oldest and largest public housing development
“We have seen major public investments nearby—most notably in the form of Greenbridge project, White Center Heights Elementary School, and White Center Heights Park,” said Constantine. “King County has been a big part of this effort. I am proud to celebrate another step forward for the White Center neighborhood.”
Tags: White Center Square
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.