Norcross Votes To Demolish Buford Highway’s Plaza Latina

Business owners at a Latino shopping center on Buford Highway are being forced to move in coming months.

The city of Norcross voted Monday to demolish Plaza Latina to build a library and a parking deck on the land.  

“Here is my job, here is my everything,” said Cira Brito, who has owned a gift shop inside the market for 20 years.

She said the market, with its 15 tenants, has been a fixture in the Latino community.  

Now, Plaza Latina is making way for new 22,000-square-foot library and a parking deck for a neighboring park and other development. The city can obtain the property through eminent domain, which allows government to take away private property for public use. The owner of the plaza rejected the city’s offer for the building, officials said. 

“We have a very large Latino population in Norcross, and this library is going to serve many generations of Norcross citizens,” said Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson. “I know it’s very disruptive to businesses, but it’s a greater good of the community.”

Johnson said the city is helping business owners find new locations. But tenants, like Russell Ortiz, who operates a sporting goods stall, worry about splitting up.

“We have to look for a good place. We want to be together, move altogether,” he said.  

This story has been updated at 2:52 p.m. Wednesday.