Main Street Resurgent Dec. 7, 2018 | Story and Photos By RAchel Parsons

Inglewood's historic Market Street, a once-thriving downtown shopping and entertainment district, has been slipping into obscurity for years. With the NFL stadium complex – including hotels, shopping, and nightlife – in development a mile away, local business owners wonder whether it will bring revitalization or be the death knell for their community.

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A family affair: Carlos Reveles and his wife Virginia Chase mind the store at Outlet Clothing, a family-owned business on Market Street for 15 years.

"It's been getting worse for, I would say, the last four years ... I don't think we'll last through next year." – Yesli Diaz, supervisor, Fred's Discount Store

The Inglewood Fox Theatre on the 100 block is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1949 and shuttered in 1988, according to the The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation.

In its heyday, Market Street was a shopping destination. Large department stores drew shoppers from around the south L.A. region. The blue-and-white striped storefront was once a JCPenney, opened in 1955.

Decadent Decay: The city of Inglewood was founded in 1908, and virtually every architectural style since is showcased along Market Street.

[Kress] building is actually full [of tenants] now. But it took a long time, we had to lower rents.– Ari Hoffman, realtor

By turns a mainstream movie theater, adult movie theater, and church, The Miracle is becoming a cultural center for local music and art under owner Owen Smith's management.

We definitely have some really good tenants on Market Street and we're hoping that they're going to be really good anchor tenants ... we just need that to translate into people hanging on for another two years. – Samuel Peña, Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce

For now, there is a wait-and-see attitude among many business owners in the district. The strip has been through many incarnations, and people are waiting to find out what shape the next will take.

How close is the new stadium development to Market Street by car? The video below posted on Youtube by Alex Duplessis gives some indication, beginning at the planned Metro stop at Florence Avenue at the north end of Market. Business owners wonder what are the odds that people will make the nearly 20-minute walk or move a car after a game or concert when shopping and nightlife is being baked into the stadium complex. | Map data ©2018, Google

Samuel Peña of the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce says there is a preliminary proposal in the works to connect the two areas by rail, though a city official in the planning office refused to comment or confirm the plan.

What do you think? Will billions of dollars of new development adjacent to Downtown Inglewood help or hurt existing businesses?


All photos: Rachel Parsons

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