At a time when access to conventional financing is difficult to come by, a community celebration to kick off the groundbreaking for a new shopping center development in White Center, Washington understandably raises eyebrows. May 28 served as an auspicious day to break ground according to the project’s developers, the Vong Family. The ceremony included a Buddhist blessing and an offering to the ancestors for good fortune. The new $10.5 million White Center Square Retail Center is being financed with a HUD Section 108 loan provided by King County and NDC New Markets Tax Credits purchased by USBancorp CDC. The project will be the new home of the Vong’s Hung Long Asian Grocery store which will anchor the 26,000 square foot development. A Vietnamese restaurant and several other small retail uses will round out the development when complete, bringing an estimated 60 new jobs to a very low income ethnically diverse area just south of Seattle. Project completion is expected in June 2010. Read more. Check out local news coverage.