Wadajir Market & Residences

We are creating 95 attainable family housing units and a community marketplace for 85 small businesses in the heart of Tukwila.

Tukwila has for decades welcomed refugees and immigrants from around the globe. Most recently, a burgeoning community of Somali and East African refugees has grown here together since the 1990s, fleeing civil war and long stays in refugee camps.

These new Americans have built lives and community in Tukwila, establishing homes, dozens of small businesses and a flourishing mosque.

Many refugee families depend on income from these micro-enterprises—usually owned and operated by women—that sell foods, textiles, jewelry, perfumes and other goods. These small businesses cluster together in marketplaces, or souqs.

As Tukwila grows, gentrification and displacement are rising forces.

Right now, around 110 businesses—many women-owned—are facing immediate displacement because of redevelopment plans. This could fragment one of our region’s most distinct and vibrant cultures and dis-empower the women-owned businesses.

The Vision:

Help us build a solution—Wadajir Market & Residences

Give today to create a home for families and small businesses

Wadajir means “Together” in Somali.

With your help, Wadajir will be an anchor for community to flourish.

At street level, Wadajir will be home to a 20,000 square-foot community market for local businesses. The upper floors will offer an abundance of family-sized two and three bedroom units available for ownership at an attainable price.

Each residence features high-quality construction, exposed natural wood and ample natural light. Outside will be a gathering space where friends and neighbors can enjoy tea or lunch.


Don't miss out on the important work we're doing to create a community anchor in Tukwila

Wadajir seeks to create a permanent solution to help end the cycle of displacement by creating an anchor site, building off of Abu Bakr’s presence across the street as a strong center of the community.

Build Smart with CLT

High quality and beautiful at an attainable price.

Wadajir will be built with an innovative sustainable wood product called Cross Laminated Timber (or CLT). CLT is made by gluing layers of lumber together, with each piece oriented perpendicular to the adjacent layer.

The resulting material is stronger than concrete, pound for pound, and it sequesters carbon. Forterra is committed to building with FSC Certified or equivalent-standard CLT. Because CLT can be prefabricated before reaching the job site, construction costs can be greatly reduced. Above all, CLT creates a comfortable and beautiful living space.

Forterra’s Role

Wadajir is a project by Forterra, a nonprofit that secures places—urban, rural and wild—that are keystones of a sustainable future. Having acquired the land with our Strong Communities Fund, Forterra is now working closely with the Abu Bakr Islamic Center of Washington, community members and public-spirited architects, engineers and developers to create a place where people, families, and small businesses can put down roots and flourish.

A rendering of what Wadajir could look like, built with Cross Laminated Timber.
By Mithun