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Community Digest

Long Beach : Latino Market Proposed for Downtown Corner

March 04, 1993

An upscale marketplace featuring Latino cuisine, herbal shops, roaming mariachis, arts and crafts, and other Latin American goods and services could be part of an international hub in downtown Long Beach, according to plans unveiled recently by the Long Beach Latino Entrepreneurial Assn.

Representatives of the group, which represents about 100 Latino business men and women, said last week that they have selected the northwest corner of Anaheim Street and Long Beach Boulevard as a prime location for a Latino mercado, or marketplace, resembling a Latin American plaza. They said they hope for help from the Redevelopment Agency and private investment.

A mini-mall occupies the corner now.

Association leaders said the intersection could become an international gateway into downtown with the mercado on one corner, an Asian-American marketplace on another, and a marketplace catering to African-American culture on a third corner.

The group has been lobbying for a mercado in the city for much of the last three years. Census figures show that 25% of Long Beach residents are Latino.

Recently, the Redevelopment Agency board awarded a $75,000 contract to the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate Development to determine whether a Latino marketplace would be a success. The study is expected to take at least six months.

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