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LOS ANGELES-Ralphs supermarket chain is scheduled to break ground tomorrow for a new grocery store in the South Village section of downtown Los Angeles. The new grocery store is considered key to revitalization of downtown city life.

The new Ralphs store is part of the Hollywood-based CIM Group’s South Village mixed-use housing and retail development. It also marks the return of the grocer to its birthplace in downtown LA, where the first Ralphs opened in 1873 at the corner of Sixth and Spring streets.

The 50,000-sf Ralphs is part of the 127,000-sf of retail space planned for a 7.2-acre site bounded by 8th and 9th streets and Hope and Flower streets. The site includes the historic gas company headquarters buildings, which is being restored and converted to rental lofts with ground floor retail space.

South Village, which is at the heart of a growing residential corridordowntown, will comprise 1,200 loft-style apartments and condominiums inaddition to the Ralphs and other retailers.

The groundbreaking for the new store will include state and local officials, as well asexecutives of the CIM Group, supermarket chain, and other local business leaders.

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