HomeVietnamese AmericanFears Vietnamese Am in Virginia would be pushed out diminished

Fears Vietnamese Am in Virginia would be pushed out diminished

Plans for a Vietnamese American neighborhood in Falls Church, Virginia received unanimous approval from the city council this week, reports Patch.

The vote came after listening to concerns from the Vietnamese American community that redeveloping the area would lead to higher rents and force them out.

“The fear in my community of displacement is real,” said Quang Le, the general manager of Hương Binh Bakery & Deli, to DCist.

RELATED: Vietnamese Americans in Virginia fear being pushed out again

The Vietnamese community argued that they had not been consulted about future plans for the neighborhood. The East End Small Area Plan is a 10-block area that includes the Eden Center, a culturally significant hub for the Vietnamese community.

The council said they’ve heard the concerns from the community and have addressed them.

“The Eden Center is a cultural powerhouse and it’s something that must be preserved,” said Mayor David Tarter, according to DCist. “No one in this room wants to lose the great thing we have right now. And so I think this plan is a good first step.”

The Viet Place Collective had worked to make sure the voices of its community would be heard. They are happy with the changes.

“Overall, we’re satisfied with the plan. We feel like it captured most of what we wanted,” Hoainam Nguyen with Viet Place Collective told Patch.

Most parties agreed that the plan is just a first step and more work needed to be done to determine the area’s future.

The Collective says it is now turning its attention to establishing an officially recognized cultural district. One name suggested is Little Saigon. Some fear that name that is being used in other cities is not distinctive enough.

“Eden Center is different. It is a treasure. It’s a gem,” said Alan Frank, senior vice president of Eden Center. “And it’s different from every other place where what they call Little Saigon.”

ABC7 reports that in May of last year, Vietnamese Americans were commemorated with a marker recognizing their historical contributions.

“People from all over drive hours and hours and make the pilgrimage here,” said Denise Nguyen. “It means it means so much to so many people, not just in this area.”

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