— Monday, February 24, 2014

Written by Dwane Brown

Southeastern San Diego residents celebrated the arrival of a long-awaited retail chain Monday. More than 100 community members and leaders attended a groundbreaking ceremony at a vacant lot near the corner of Market Street and Euclid Avenue. By fall 2014, the lot will be home to a Walgreens drugstore.

Interim San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria spoke at the ceremony, and said many people came out to the event because they’ve been waiting a long time for the store.

Councilwoman Myrtle Cole oversees District 4, which includes the areas surrounding the coming Walgreens. She said the lack of stores and restaurants in the district has forced residents to spend their money elsewhere.

“We spend $1.6 billion in this district, and 870 million of those dollars went outside of our district for restaurants, drug stores, for retail, and we need to bring those dollars back into this district,” Cole said.

Cole also said it took over six years and lots of collaboration to get the Walgreens.

“We want the residents in our community to stay in our community and a new Walgreens provides a much-needed service, as well as new jobs. Walgreens has committed to hiring locally – both for our construction and operations. That means more jobs and that is good for all of us,” Cole said.

The store is part of a Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation project. The non-profit organization is also working on bringing other retailers to southeastern San Diego.