Northgate Market to be Torn Down for Apartments

Plan approved Dec. 15

A Northgate Market in Santa Ana agreed to demolish the store to build higher-priced apartments, despite residents disapproval.

Aryam Suarez

A Northgate Market in Santa Ana agreed to demolish the store to build higher-priced apartments, despite residents disapproval.

Aryam Suarez, Reporter

A 169 unit apartment complex is set to replace a Northgate Market grocery store, located at 409 East Fourth Street near downtown Santa Ana and many residents are not too happy about the change. 

The average rent for the 1-3 bedroom apartments will average $1,500-$3500 per month. Although the Santa Ana City Council made it clear that they want to make at least 10-15% affordable. 

The new apartment complex will have a mix of studio and multi-room apartments, along with a courtyard, a pool, and 11,361 square feet of commercial retail space. 

The Gonzalez family who owns Northgate Markets has been a family business for more than 20 years and for many people, Northgate is an accessible and acceptable option to shop for groceries.  

Santa Ana’s City Council showed a great interest in initiating the apartment project and little interest with keeping Northgate within the downtown area. Since then, loads of residents have contacted the city council to reject the project in hope of refusal. 

Although they do plan to demolish the store, Northgate plans on moving locations. Northgate has six total locations and more than 1,000 employees in Santa Ana. The Gonzalez family has shown sincere respect for the upcoming project and has made clear that they don’t plan on shutting down the store but changing the store’s location since the consumer goods and habits vary. 

Many local Santa Ana residents argue that these apartments are just going to help the rich get richer and that there really is no need to build an apartment complex in the middle of a pandemic. 

Most argue that in fact, since Santa Ana is overpopulated, there has to be a bigger store and construction should expand the store instead of demolishing it.

The Gonzalez family has already figured out the next step in remodeling Northgate Market. Apart from relocating the store, they are teaming up with Red Oak Investments on the 133-unit project that would include a restaurant, an urban fresh market, and other retail leasing space. 

Newer Northgate Markets in Orange County have expanded their store size and added more organic offerings and food locations. There has been new upgrades and new opportunities for supermarket growth, such as new food options and more organic foods. However, seeing this food growth, several people complain that there is a necessity for a much bigger store. 

The council people voted 4-2 to approve the project. Santa Ana City Council members, Jonathan Ryan Hernandez and Jesse Lopez voted against, Phil Baccera, Nelida Mendoza, Thai Viet Phan and David Penaloza voted for the project. Mayor Vicente Sarmiento abstained since he already owned property. 

With people’s disapproval and denial of the new project’s confirmation, about 400 people have boycotted Northgate and have gathered signatures in order to stop the project. People find this absurd since the Latino market has been a store nearby where people can buy goods for cheap. And that Santa Ana is one one the lowest income cities and the building of expensive apartments is more a luxury than a need for many residents. 

Some organizations have been against this project and have provided enough support to residents who do not want to demolish Northgate.

But it’s the assumption that vanity and profit is always first and people’s needs come in last place.