Local, state and federal leaders gathered with residents and community advocates this week to celebrate the grand opening of the Juanita Tate Marketplace, calling it a game changing development for South.
The $21 million shopping center is more than 25 years in the making and brings more than 200 new jobs to the area as well as a brand new 42,000-square-foot full-service Northgate supermarket and is the largest scale development to come to the area in decades.
“Today we see a vision realized for our community and we also deliver an important message to the rest of the city – this community matters and deserves the same kinds of amenities that others enjoy,” said Councilman Curren Price.is is a game changer for our community and I want other retailers to hear us loud and clear – the New Ninth is open for business but not for business as usual!”
Sitting atop a 6.5 acre site, that what was once a former scrap metal yard, the shopping center brings life to a long abandoned plot of land that had been an eye sore for South LA residents for decades. The site is named after revered South LA community activist Juanita Tate, who launched and lead Concerned Citizens for South Los Angeles to work on community redevelopment and environmental justice advocacy and was the driving force behind the retail development.
“Today we see the fulfillment of a promise my mother made to this community more than 25 years ago,” said Noreen McClendon, Tate’s daughter and the current Executive Director of CCSLA.
After more than two decades of legal hurdles and financial struggles, the project came to fruition as the result of a great public-private partnership between the City of Los Angeles, the former California Redevelopment Agency, California’s FreshWorks Fund and anchor retailer Northgate Gonzalez.
The entire project is an example of public private partnerships, with CCSLA getting space for education and training on the premises. For the first time in its history, Northgate Gonzalez has also partnered with Homeboy Industries to help train local clients of the non-profit for jobs at the supermarket. The retail center will also include various sit-down restaurants including Panda Express, Waba Grill, Wing Stop and Fatburger as well as a Chase Bank and the first Starbucks in the area.
McClendon reminded residents to be active partners of the new retail center, by maintaining the space clean and patronizing the businesses often.
“This is a call to action for our community, we must show the world that we are a market force to be reckoned with…and that we should not be overlooked,” McClendon added.