by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán
The new ‘Mercado del Barrio’ and Northgate Market (a supermarket chain from LA) were the proud hosts of a great family gathering organized to celebrate Easter in the heart of Barrio Logan. A free afternoon event was held at the recently opened retail center. These projects had been in the works for over two decades.
“We partnered with Chelsea for the affordable housing. Everything came together pretty smoothly; the community was really positive about it. We did not have any kind of disputes so we wanted to make sure we got the community involved with this center and do some events for families and make them more aware that we are here” explained Kimberly Powell, Real Estate Manager for the Honors Association and Shay Realtors.
There is a also a new residential area above the retail center. It has a very urban and ‘downtown’ look. “It is mixed use. To build this it took about two years, but had been an ongoing project for about five years; we worked with the community to make it happen. It is a multimillion dollar project that had A LOT of people involved to make it happen” explains Powell “We are talking about 91 apartments –all affordable housing, based on your income”.
The retail center has stores including the Northgate supermarket. The supermarket has its own taco bar called ‘Doña Tina’ where other dishes involving authentic Mexican food are also served. Meals are available for take out or to eat on site. Still to come within the next few months: Little Caesar’s, T Mobile, ‘Tocumbo’ which is a famous Mexican ice cream chain, a laundromat and Hispanic professional services that do tax, immigration and notary. Everything should be up and ready by this summer with room for more.
Barrio Logan’s image continues to improve, changing the perception of a “dangerous” neighborhood with a lack of security. One way residents and businesses address this perception is through events like the Easter Celebration which help create a vibrant safe neighborhood. “The city is paying more attention to the area as it brings in more businesses. There is definitely an effort to change the face, image and reputation that this area has. Proof is in the celebration we are having where hundreds of people came and enjoyed a great time” explained Maria Luisa Bojorquez, Hispanic Media contact for HMC advertising.
El Mercado del Barrio is located in the heart of Barrio Logan underneath the Coronado Bridge. It is adjacent to the historic Chicano Park, a block north from the Trolley station.
Alejandra Enciso Guzmán is an arts consultant and reporter in both Tijuana and San Diego. @Riselah / @Riselaheng