A piece of land that's supposed to serve as the gateway to Imperial Beach has been languishing for years, but changes are coming soon.
"I've been hearing a lot of rumors saying that they were going to build something up within that year, but they just still haven't," said Michelle Morrison, a lifelong Imperial Beach resident.
The 45,000-square-foot piece of land at 9th Street and Palm Avenue has idled for years. However, next month, Sudberry Properties will break ground on Breakwater Town Center, a mix of retail and restaurants.
"Finally," Morrison said. "It'll be something better to look at than nothing."
The center will also include a plaza for people to gather.
The project, a partnership between the city and Sudberry, has been on hold for years. It hit a snag when Gov. Jerry Brown eliminated redevelopment agencies in 2009.
"Hopefully, it'll attract more tourists," Morrison said.
Grocery Outlet will be the main draw, but other tenants include Starbucks, Chipotle, Five Guys, Jersey Mike's, Baskin-Robbins, T-Mobile and Wingstop.
"I'll probably eat there all the time," Morrison said.
Construction is expected to start next month, with the first phase done by the second half of 2017.