Mérida, Yucatán — The City Council today inaugurated the Centro Comercial Popular, which was created to relocate 72 downtown street vendors.
After months of negotiation and construction in an old casona, the mall at Calle 61 between 56 and 54 is officially open for business.
The city is now promising an advertising and promotion campaign to make shoppers aware of the new market.
The shopping center was built by the city to encourage street vendors to come inside and not crowd the sidewalks and compete with licensed businesses. Part of the bargain is a daycare center for vendors with children. There are restrooms, security and parking.
The city says there are 60 percent fewer street vendors on the street since the beginning of the current administration.
Authorities and the business establishment have been trying for years to clear the streets of unlicensed vendors in a way that does not create a negative backlash.