Los Angeles, CA
Juanita Tate Marketplace Opens
The Grand Opening of the Juanita Tate Marketplace Shopping Center located in South Central Los Angeles was a day that had been anticipated for 17 years. Juanita Tate was a feisty woman who lobbied for a better quality of life for those impoverished in this section of Los Angeles. She fought for their rights to have quality stores to shop, and healthy food to eat. She fought to employ people from the local neighborhood, so that they could feed their families. Today’s ceremony featured Grey Davis, former Governor of California and Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles. The Mayor reflected that the project site brought him back to his roots, where his father had a barber shop in South Central Los Angeles. Noreen McClendon, Juanita Tate’s daughter was present and talked about her mother’s dreams. Today was Juanita’s birthday—how fitting for the day’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Noreen was present at every Owner/Contractor meeting throughout the project, and was instrumental in maintaining community relations and neighborhood peace. Her courageous meetings with local gangs instilled in them a sense of pride of community ownership, and spared the Center any graffiti or vandalism throughout the project. Brian Smith, President of Regency Centers, declared, “the world doesn’t necessarily need another shopping center…but in this instance, sometimes it does!”
Regency had nothing but praise for MATT Construction’s project team, who made great sacrifices to pull off the aggressive project schedule in time for today’s events. Northgate Markets, owned by the Gonzales Family, owner of 38 supermarkets, is the anchor tenant and a partner now with South Central. They will do a great business here, serve great food, produce and provide access to a healthy lifestyle for the entire community.