With heavy machinery and workers in the background, Mexicali Mayor Marina del
Pilar Ávila Olmeda and other city and Baja California officials announced a joint
city-state effort to revitalize the Historic Center of the Mexicali, including
Mexicali’s Chinatown and Mexicali Rose areas, and the centerpiece Glorieta
Morelos. | COURTESY PHOTO
MEXICALI — Mexicali city and Baja California state officials joined together Aug. 17 to announce the first stage of a downtown historic center revitalization project worth $2.5 million (U.S.) meant to bring families and Mexicali residents back to the heart of the city while stimulating the local economy.
Mexicali Mayor Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda explained that the main part of the revitalization project will center around rehabilitating some features, streets and buildings around the Chinatown area, the Mexicali Rose area, Avenida Benito Juarez and the circular centerpiece of the Mexicali Rose area, the Glorieta Morelos, where the Chinese pagoda will be moved and renovated at the request of the city’s Chinese Association, she said.
Ávila Olmeda said the effort would be carried out with “a lot of heart, from the municipal government in conjunction with the state government … hand in hand with civil associations and local merchants.”
“It is very important that everyone and each of the projects lead to greater investment and job creation, reactivating the economy without neglecting the health of Mexicans. Without a doubt the city is making progress in the reactivation of the Historic Center, which will stimulate and dignify this place,” Ávila Olmeda said during a press conference from the area Aug. 17.
She also thanked Baja Gov. Jaime Bonilla Valdez, heads of state agencies, as well as members of the Historic Center Trust, for the development of the project.
The mayor explained the investment in the project, announced as 56 million pesos, would be a shared cost between the state of Baja (36 million pesos, or $1.62 million in US currency) and the city (20 million pesos, or $902,000 in US currency).
City officials during the announcement said that in the past the area was known for its high crime rates, which stalled tourism and investment. However, the area has become a focus of the city and officials said police in 2020 have seen a 28 percent reduction in crimes there.
In coming months, following this project, which is considered stage one, city officials said new Mexicali government offices will be built in the area and plans are under way for the rehabilitation of the Escamilla Market, green areas,
additional lighting, building a museum, solving underground wiring issues, and renovating more nearby roads, among other projects.
For his part, Carlos Torres Torres, coordinator of the Historic Center Project, said as part of the project to revitalize the Historic Center there have already been concerts and cultural events have been organized in the area, the Callejón de la Chinesca, or the Chinese Alley, was reactivated, all this aimed at the reinvigorating the area, Torres Torres said.
The city did not day when the work would begin during the press conference.
Photos of the project boards depicting the plans for the Mexicali Historic Center revitalization project can be viewed via the pdf link below: