Community leaders in the Encanto area have spent years advocating for a few amenities: local businesses that keep more money in the area, restaurants and grocery stores that offer healthy food and gathering places and generally more stores on main thoroughfares to create walkable areas.
There have been years of studies, plans and promotions. But boarded up storefronts still plague Imperial Avenue.
Now, a handful of new developments are on the way. And as Kinsee Morlan reports in a new story, leaders are concerned the new spaces will leave the community with its same old problems.
“We’re a business desert,” said Kenneth Malbrough, chair of the Encanto community planning group. “So how do we drop in thousands of units and we don’t have enough businesses to serve them? How come nobody outside is looking here? Why are these larger businesses turning their noses at us?”
As dozens of new apartments ready to open, officials with the city and Civic San Diego, the city’s redevelopment arm, are planning bus tours with prospective business owners in hopes they can lure new options into the area. That’s been tried before, with little to show for it.
Meanwhile, some of the business owners who have already set up shop in the area say they’re excited for all the new homes coming on line and are hoping it’s good for business.