Los Angeles-based Sassony Properties broke ground this week on a $200 million retail destination center in a forgotten portion of South Los Angeles. The new, two-city-block long Vermont Entertainment Village will be located at the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Manchester Avenue, a corner left blighted and vacant since the 1992 Rodney King riots.

The nearly six-acre site of the project was previously used for an indoor swap meet that was burned down during the riots. In a symbolic gesture of rebirth, the city and developer broke ground on the new project on April 29, the 23rd anniversary of the upheaval.

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When complete in late 2016, the 190,000 sq-ft Vermont Entertainment Village will boast retail shops, multiple sit-down restaurants, a grocery store, a pharmacy and a movie theater. There will also be a 40,000-sq-ft open-air central courtyard promenade with a performance stage to accommodate social gatherings, and a five-story parking structure with 426 on-site parking spaces (including two subterranean levels).

The project is being designed by Architecture Refined Corp. (ARC) of Diamond Bar, CA, the environmental engineer is Terry A. Hayes Associates or Culver City, CA, and the landscape architect is Phil May Landscape Architect of Upland, CA.  

The website for Vermont Entertainment Village says the project is a unique retail, food, dining and supermarket blended together to create a cultural wonderland of shopping, dining and entertainment." Project renderings show a development similar to The Grove in Los Angeles and Universal City Walk in Studio City. 

Estimates say that besides the shopping and entertainment components, the Vermont Entertainment Village is also expected to bring in somewhere in the neighborhood of $99 million annually in sales tax revenue to the city.