Construction crews broke ground last week at the Midtown Shopping Center where a supermarket and a drugstore are scheduled to open by next winter.
A full-service Alpha Beta supermarket and a Sav-on Drugs will be anchor tenants in the shopping center at San Vicente and Pico boulevards, replacing two stores destroyed in the 1992 riots.
The stores are expected to create more than 150 jobs.
Space for small retail stores and restaurants is also included in the renovation plan and an existing swap meet, known as the Midtown Shops, will be remodeled as part of the $20-million project.
"This project can provide a jump-start for revitalization and create a ripple effect in the community," developer James R. Young said at the Thursday groundbreaking.
Some community groups have called on Young to replace the swap meet with a chain retail store such as Target or Wal-Mart. But Young has said leases with the vendors and a lack of interest by large retailers preclude that option for now.