Walgreens breaks ground, brings jobs to Encanto community
Video Report By Jeff Zevely, Reporter - bio | email
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – Groundbreaking took place Monday for a new Walgreens in the community of Encanto.
New construction means new jobs, and new opportunities.
Elected officials and representatives from the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation were on hand for the ceremony. Councilmember Myrtle Cole says when District 4 residents need a drug store, they won't have to drive to another neighborhood anymore.
"We want to spend our dollars here, and we want to make sure that other folks from other districts come here and also spend their dollars," Cole said.
Community leaders say it took six years for Walgreens to sign on the dotted line.
"Today is really exciting," Renee Novo of the Jacobs Center said.
Novo says Southeast San Diego has suffered from underinvestment for decades.
"We haven't seen a lot of development in this neighborhood since the 50s," Novo said.
Now empty lots and empty storefronts are being replaced with big business. Ken Malbrough, who was born and raised in the neighborhood, hopes Walgreens serves as a magnet for other national chains.
"It's going to be a beacon for other businesses. There's a lot of money that leaks out of this community. People need services and goods," Malbrough said.
Interim Mayor Todd Gloria says downtown San Diego was revitalized, and Encanto is following that footprint.
"What we as a city tried to do is explain to folks that this is a good community to invest in, that it's a wise investment, and that folks can turn a profit," Gloria said.
The addition of Walgreens will also create construction jobs. James Thompson works for Cats Excavating, which helped build the nearby Market Creek complex.
"(The community) has been turning the corner. They just need to keep turning," Thompson said.