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Originally published Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at 7:00 PM

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Locals bring coffee, art, fashion to 'new' White Center

Tan Vinh's take on tenant-run businesses at the Greenbridge public-housing development in Seattle's White Center area.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Numbers correspond to map.

1. Dubsea Coffee, 9910 Eighth Ave S.W. The name is a play on the community's initials, "WC." One of the coolest coffeehouses in the South End, often overlooked because of its location. Big space for performances and community meetings, with the usual coffeehouse staples of pastries and sandwiches and Wall Street Journal and New York Times for sale. Like many of the hipster coffee shops in Capitol Hill. Hanging artwork by local artists. www.dubseacoffee.com.

2. MAC Fashion House, 9839 Eighth Ave. S.W., Suite 103. Fashion designer Carlisia Minnis sells contemporary and urban outfits, from streetwear to cocktail dresses. The newest business on the block. By appointment only. www.jritzman.com/macfashionhouse or 206-322-2147.

3. Yo Style Hair Design, 9839 Eighth Ave. S.W., Suite 102. Yulonda Rhodes is owner and hair stylist. One of the success stories of King County's "StartZone," which offers training and guidance to women and minorities who run their own businesses. 206-246-0401.

4. A Touch of Glass, 9839 Eighth Ave. S.W., Suite 201. Stained-glass artist Yvonne Auxier runs this art studio. But the real star, she said, is her 13-year old son, Adam, who has Asperger's syndrome and whose artwork sells for up to $150 per piece. He does digital art, watercolor paintings and sketches. 206-243-2156.

Popped into one of the coolest coffeehouses in the South End recently. Heard some inspirational stories from public-housing tenants turned business owners across the shop.

This strip is located in White Center, but not that White Center, with the pho houses, Salvadorean Bakery and Asian groceries around the main drag.

It's a mile away from the commercial district, in a community called Greenbridge, a mixed-income housing project, with up to 922 subsidized and market-rate housing units for rent and for sale. Parks, public sculptures and trails are scattered among this 95-acre complex, along with several social service agencies and a library.

Greenbridge will have 400-450 houses for sale and 472 rental units in the near future. Most rental units are already occupied.

The few businesses in this complex are the promise of things to come, White Center community leaders and King County Housing Authority officials hope.

Three of the four businesses — can't miss them — are housed right below some funky, bright red and yellow townhouses, and run by tenants who live in Greenbridge public housing.

Here's a look at businesses on Eighth Avenue Southwest, the main drag in Greenbridge.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com

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