Supermarket Opens in Northwest Area

The first major supermarket in the city's troubled northwest area opened Monday, marking the first store to open in the city-subsidized Fair Oaks Renaissance Plaza shopping center.

Developer Danny Bakewell and Mayor Chris Holden attended ceremonies to open the Vons at the southwest corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard.

The 80,000-square-foot center was built on land the city acquired for $15.1 million, which was then sold for $1.5 million to Bakewell and his partner Lonnie Bunkley, who built the facility.

Holden said the center provides a place to shop for thousands of residents in an area that previously had been shunned by major supermarkets.

In addition to the Vons market, the center will include eight smaller stores and a community room. A series of financing and development problems delayed the project's opening, initially slated for 1996.

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