These are the impassioned hopes of MEDA for the reimagining of the ground floor space of Plaza Adelante. With this rethinking of the space, MEDA is implementing strategies of placekeeping of the Mission Street commercial corridor that has longed served as the lifeblood of the neighborhood. The goal is to keep this stretch a thriving district for families, with immigrant-owned small businesses, arts and cultural organizations, and nonprofits all having permanent homes in the Mission.
Located at Mission and 19th streets, Plaza Adelante’s reconfiguration will complement a pair of other recently purchased nearby corners to anchor the corridor: 2205 Mission (at 18th Street), where a long-shuttered property will be refurbished by MEDA, with 40+ for-sale below-market-rate homes, plus a 200-seat theater for Dance Mission and an early learning center expansion by Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc.; and Mission and 17th streets, comprising 11 residential units and five small businesses, now all with longtime affordable and stable homes after MEDA’s purchase of the property via the City’s Small Sites Program.
The remaking of Plaza Adelante will be done in three phases.
Phase 1: El Mercadito shops moved to 19th Street corner
MEDA has been helping small businesses since the organization’s inception 45 years ago. That work continues, now more important than ever with the concurrent displacement of Latinos and small ventures due to an ever-expanding income gap in the Mission.
One goal of the Business Development team — which offers free technical assistance and one-on-one coaching, plus access to much-needed capital via the Adelante Fund — is to bring out new small businesses into Mission commercial spaces. As a first step, a microbusiness incubator named El Mercadito was created a few years ago on the first floor of Plaza Adelante. The five current tenants offer goods and services ranging from clothing to printing.
The new design of Plaza Adelante will optimize visibility for these entrepreneurs, as they will be relocated to the street-corner side of the building, with all now the having windows to the street to entice passersby. The design also translates to foot traffic within Plaza Adelante offering potential customers for these small businesses.
Phase 2: New nonprofit space built
As part of Mission Street commercial corridor work, keeping nonprofits with culturally relevant services in the neighborhood is critical to meeting immigrant families’ needs. Plaza Adelante is home to several such community-based organizations, and plans call for a brand-new space on the first floor to meet the demand for organizations at risk of losing their space or expanding to serve the needs of our families.
The future tenant in that space will be aligned and further MEDA’s mission and vision.
Phase 3: Community Living Room/three incubator food spaces built
Plaza Adelante’s paseo will soon feature three new food spaces for low-income food entrepreneurs.
All eateries’ customers will share common seating and gathering in a community living room designed for families. There will be plenty of table space and comfortable seating areas to encourage engagement. The concept is for the space to also be available for local community events at street level, to activate this corner as welcoming for families.
MEDA is proud to partner with local architects Y.A. studio, contractor AmOne Corp. and lender Wells Fargo to reinvent Plaza Adelante’s ground floor.
Questions? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the redesign of Plaza Adelante’s first floor.