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Mercado Apartments Open In San Diego’s Barrio Logan

The community of Barrio Logan is finally seeing its vision of growth and change come to life. For 20 years the neighborhood beneath the Coronado Bridge has longed for a major grocery store. It now has a new 92-unit apartment complex with a Latino supermarket opening next month.

Barrio Logan is a predominantly Latino community of working-class people whose families settled in the area as early as the 1890s. But over the decades, the neighborhood changed from primarily residential to industrial with the Coronado Bridge overhead.

"This was a struggle like a lot of the struggles that those of us who've lived in Barrio Logan are well aware of," said David Alvarez, the San Diego city councilman who oversees the 8th district. "For a young person to see an investment like this in the community, I can tell you as someone who has experienced the dirt lots, this means a lot."

The three-story complex consists of 92 apartment units reserved for people and families living on limited incomes. Nineteen one-bedroom, 40 two-bedroom and 33 three-bedroom apartments, including a manager's unit. It took six years from planning to completion, with support from city officials, the mayor and the San Diego Housing Commission. Debbie Ruane says it will remain affordable for low income families for 99 years.

"That equates to a one-bedroom unit starting at $432 a month and a three-bedroom unit starting at $573 a month, no wonder they leased up in a day in a half," Ruane said.

Helen Orozco moved from a cramped studio apartment to a spacious three bedroom with an awesome city view. As a single mom with two boys and a baby girl on the way, it's very close to her job. "Yeah, walking distance, I'm really very happy," she said. And so are community activists like Rachael Ortiz with Barrio Station.

"It all stemmed from residents and businesses agreeing we need a supermarket here," Ortiz said. That desire began in the 1970s, and will come full circle next month when a Latino-themed supermarket opens with space for retail shops, restaurants and a community theater.

The $43 million project was developed by Chelsea Investment Corporation in partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission.

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