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Central Los Angeles : Farmers Market Needs a New Home

July 08, 1995

For now, at least, call it the farmers market in search of a home.

Plans to bring a weekly fruit-and-veggie market to Alvarado Terrace Park in Pico-Union were met with something less than enthusiasm by residents, who frown on the potential for increased foot traffic that could make the neighborhood's thriving narcotics trade even more difficult to control. "We want to keep this area as quiet as possible," said Johnny Garcia, a homeowner who lives nearby.

And street vendors, who are trying to organize a legal vending district around the park, say they can do without the competition.

So the Central American Resource Center, a local nonprofit social service and economic development agency, is casting about for another location in Pico-Union. They have narrowed a list of other potential sites, with the hope that when the market eventually opens it will revitalize business along the commercial corridors of Pico and Venice boulevards.

Besides fresh food and produce, the market would feature Latin American music and entertainment that could help attract tourists and others from outside the area, organizers said.

"Alvarado Terrace would have worked because it's so close to Pico Boulevard," said Mario Marroquin of the resource center. "But we just can't grab people by the neck and convince them."

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