A reader pointed me to this PI story from earlier in the week, announcing a new deal between the developers of the big project on the Goodwill property and the surrounding communities that have been very outspoken against it.
Some of the concessions listed in the story aren’t new. For example, the project has always had 200 units of affordable housing. Here’s the new pieces that I haven’t heard of before:
Hire contractors that pay prevailing wages, provide health and retirement benefits, participate in minority- and women-owned business programs, strive to hire local residents through pre-apprentice programs and ensure that apprentices perform 15 percent of all work hours. Ensure that grocery and drugstores stay neutral if employees decide to unionize and apply the same standards to janitors, security officers and other employees of the development. Offer below-market rents on 5,000 square feet of space in the project to community nonprofits, equating to $1 million worth of rent subsidies. Contribute $200,000 for the design of a community center in Little Saigon and $600,000 over 12 years to support the Little Saigon commercial district. Use environmentally sustainable building practices. Install way-finding kiosks with directions to the International District and Little Saigon.
The community center is probably one of the biggest items. I remember it being specifically mentioned by development manager Darrell Vange as something the he thought was beyond unreasonable. So congrats to the opponents for getting it.
There’s still two steps left before the project breaks ground. It goes in front of the city’s hearing examiner on September 22nd, and will then require city council approval for the rezone and street vacations. If those occur on a reasonable schedule, ground would be broken late 2009 and be finished up in 2012.