FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) – The South Coast Marketplace is starting to take shape in Fall River.
In July, the unemployment rate in Fall River was 7.1 percent. But a few thousand new jobs are about to open up.
Many people lined up for job interviews in the new shopping center on Wednesday, including Brandon Pereira.
He is interviewing for a job at the new Five Below and he said this job will help him reach his dream of becoming a police officer or a correctional officer.
The Bristol Community College student was elated that the shopping mall had a $100 million makeover, from the near empty New Harbour Mall two years ago to the now booming South Coast Marketplace.
“This place used to be absolutely awful and now it looks like Dartmouth Mall. Really, really nice,” he said.
Ken Fiola with the Office of Economic Development says it all began when Market Basket agreed to a plot.
“This was a dead mall. A dead, blighted place you didn’t want to be. They came in here and knocked it down,” he said. “You need to have that anchor tenant…. Market Basket proved to be that anchor tenant and then you build off that.”
Construction crews are trying to keep up with the demand, eventually having new businesses in the marketplace create 1,000 new jobs.
Pereira said he already works at Market Basket part-time, but he needs a second job to pay for his school expenses.
“Now I can have two jobs while I’m in school which will definitely help me,” he said. “I have to pay car insurance i have a lot of bills now that I’m in college.”