WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) submitted a Community Project Funding request of $1,000,000 for the Wadajir Residences & Souq, Forterra NW in Tukwila, Wash. to the House Appropriations Committee.

“The souq or International Market at Wadajir will be a powerful incubator for small businesses in the Somali and immigrant communities of Tukwila, Washington,” said Michelle Connor, President and CEO of Forterra. “A commerce anchor for an innovative affordable housing development, the International Market brings 15,000 square feet and 60 spaces to new and existing businesses within a BIPOC community that has long faced continued displacement pressures. This federal investment helps to offer a path for small business owners to move forward through the challenges of the pandemic.”

The Wadajir Residences & Souq is a mixed-use attainable housing and commercial development project that will provide affordable cooperative ownership opportunities in Tukwila. The international market located on the ground floor will provide space for the community to gather, small and micro-businesses to thrive and grow, and community members to access culturally specific goods and services. Above the Souq, Forterra is developing 100 affordable homes for cooperative ownership.

With rising rents and the closure or sale of international markets in Tukwila and SeaTac, the BIPOC immigrant and East-African communities in South King County are facing displacement. Many are not able to make rent, pay for basic services, and are increasingly concerned for their long-term stability. Over 110 immigrant-owned small businesses have closed in the area in just the last three years. The Wadajir Residences & Souq will help combat this by providing 100 units of affordable housing and 60 micro retail units for small businesses. The new businesses will generate quality, family-wage jobs and economic growth for the region and increase economic mobility.

Through a relationship established around shared values of housing affordability and community ownership, Forterra has partnered with the Abu Bakr Islamic Center to develop this project.

Click here for information about other Community Project Funding requests submitted by Congressman Smith.