Construction Begins For Retail Center That Has Been Empty Since 1992 Riots

(FOX 11 / CNS) Construction work will officially begin today on a $200 million retail center at a vacant lot that has been mostly empty since the 1992 Los Angeles riots, with the groundbreaking taking place on the 23rd anniversary of the start of the unrest.

City Councilman Bernard Parks will join developer Sassony Properties to break ground on the Vermont Entertainment Village project at Vermont and Manchester avenues on the former site of an indoor swap meet that was destroyed by a fire during the riots.

The lot has been primarily empty, with the exception of a shoe store and eye doctor building that was built on a small portion of the site.

The retail and entertainment center will cover two blocks and about 190,000 square feet once completed in the winter of 2016.

Parks was a deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department during the riots, which broke out after four police officers who were videotaped beating up Rodney King were acquitted of assault by a jury in Simi Valley. They were later convicted of federal charges.

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