City-owned mall for street vendors closes after 2 years

Street vendors are now selling from inside a mall meant to keep the sidewalks clear. Photo: Diario de Yucatan
Centro Popular de Comercio is not a hit among vendors. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

Mérida, Yucatán — An attempt to get vendors off the streets and into a “people’s shopping center” has ended in failure.

Two years after opening a “Centro Comercial Popular Municipal,” the last eight remaining vendors have been moved to stalls at San Benito market, reports Sipse. The building had space for as many as 80 traders.

The move was agreed upon at noon Wednesday after the city terminated a lease agreement with the casona property’s owner at Calle 61 between 54 and 56.

Officials tour the building being prepared to house street vendors in 2015. Photo: City of Mérida

The mall, opened under the previous administration, was an attempt to placate both vendors and the shop owners they compete against. Clearing crowded sidewalks for pedestrian safety was another goal of the very expensive experiment

The shopping center was opened in May 2015, promising better work conditions and even child care for vendors. But the sellers complained that moving indoors sacrificed visibility, and few shoppers ever ventured into the 4-million-peso arcade. 

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