The Friends of Little Saigon seeks to create a gathering place for the regional Vietnamese community in or adjacent to the Little Saigon business district. This can be accomplished by bringing together the district’s cultural, shopping, and culinary aspects in a distinctive physical anchor—the Landmark Project—located in the heart of Little Saigon.
The mixed-use Landmark Project will consist of a Vietnamese Cultural Center, Southeast Asian Public Market, and affordable housing. Parking will also be included to accommodate the region’s growing Vietnamese population. Each component of the development will reflect Vietnamese Americans’ rich culture, history, and future.
- Cultural Center – is a gathering place for community events, programs, meetings and socializing.
- Public Market – Indoor public market will contain specialty boutiques that serve as incubators for small vendors and emerging entrepreneurs—all in a unique architectural environment of permanently built small shops and portable kiosks.
- Affordable Housing – the housing units will add an affordable option for families or working professionals to the scant housing supply in the area.
In 2014, FLS in partnership with SCIDpda conducted a feasibility study, which can be viewed here. Seattle University students also conducted a cultural center assessment of national models, which are mapped here.
UPDATE: The Landmark Project is now a community vision that includes a multi-phase approach to supporting economic vitality for small businesses and development of a Cultural Center. Working alongside our community partners, FLS plans to implement this vision through 3 key strategies:
- Purchase and develop our own site to house Landmark components.
- Advocate and influence other development projects to implement the Landmark vision.
- Address immediate community needs for space and cultural preservation.
The third strategy is a short-term goal that will strengthen the overall program uses of the future Landmark site. In 2019, FLS received resources to lease a site for a Cultural Gathering Space (Little Saigon Creative). Design and capital improvements will begin mid-2019. This space will house FLS’s programs and will be open to the community for meetings and special events.