Mercado Latino is expanding, will create more jobs

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Construction is set to start for a new shopping center in East Bakersfield.

Owners of the Mercado Latino are expected to start operations on a new shopping center along California Avenue that will be known as the Plaza Latino.

Mercado Latino and Plaza del Pueblo is already home to more than 100 shops and 12 restaurants. The new plaza will be an extension of the Mercado Latino and will include up to 30 retailers and anywhere from 300 to 400 more jobs.

“We’re at 99 percent capacity, and there’s a high demand for people to come in because everybody wants to do business here,” said Gilbert Arias, who operates the Mercado Latino.

Arias explained that the new expansion hopes to include stores that are attractive to a younger generation.

“We just want to include more well-known businesses,” Arias said.

Shoppers and current retailers said they are excited about the new expansion and for what it could bring to the Eastside community. 

“It’s better for the community, especially because of all the jobs that it will bring to the community,” said Nancy Sanchez, who manages the Sanchez Jewelry inside of the Mercado Latino.

The new shops are expected to open in February of 2015.

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