The first of 25 stores at the new Plaza Hermosa Shopping Center, which together are projected by city officials to increase annual sales tax revenue by at least 30% next year, opened Wednesday with flowers, band music and a catered breakfast at nearby Hermosa Community Center.
Scores of shoppers rushed into the Vons grocery shortly after 8 a.m. as city officials, developers of the $15-million shopping center and invited guests predicted that the white stucco and red tile complex would provide a much-needed catalyst for a revitalization of the downtown business district.
Several other stores and restaurants are expected to open during the summer, with the entire project scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, said Tom Corley, project manager for Alexander Haagen Development Co. of Manhattan Beach. Construction of the center, which includes 100,000 square feet of retail space, began 10 months ago.
The center will provide about 200 jobs, Corley said.
The city floated more than $6 million in bonds to finance construction of a 175-car parking garage beneath the center, which will be repaid by the developer through rent. There are an additional 300 surface parking spots, Corley said.