Andrade: A real estate pioneer
Grocery, 129 London St., owned by Miguel Andrade for
was among the first generation of Salvadorans to move to Boston.
Now he is enjoying the fruits of his investments. After years of
working as a cook at various restaurants, he moved to East Boston
in 1990 and bought the Jaqueline Grocery Store on London Street.
Now, he owns the building the store is in, plus his own house and
three other houses in the neighborhood.
was working as a cement layer in El Salvador when he, his wife and
his three children immigrated to Dorchester in 1981. "I didn't
have a very good job down there," he says.
He worked as
a cook at various restaurants in the Harvard Square area. After
eight years of working and saving, his wife suggested he open his
a former beauty salon that was up for sale on London Street in East
Boston. After refurbishing it, he opened his new grocery store in
1990 and rented out the apartments above it.
profit that could be made and taking advantage of the then-low prices
for property, Andrade bought a house for his family in 1990, plus
three others over the next 12 years. "I wanted to invest my
money in something," he says. "This seemed like a good
idea." He says he has never had to advertise, as word-of-mouth
in the Salvadoran community keeps a steady flow of tenants to rent
out the rooms.
his last house two months ago. "It's getting too expensive
now," he says. "This will be my last."
his citizenship in 1992. His wife is currently applying. All three
of their children are grown and out of the house now, but the Andrades
are staying put.
been here a long time now and never had a problem," says Miguel.
"It's just me and my wife now. We're not going to move."