CLEVELAND — The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is working to add new development in Clark-Fulton Neighborhood that will not only celebrate Latin culture but add more resources to the area.
Off of West 25th Street, you’ll find murals flags of Latino counties and Ramon Pagans jewelry shop. He came to the US from Puerto Rico 30 years ago and has had Old San Juan’s Jewelers for 20 years. Ramon is part of a larger Hispanic community in the West 25th street neighborhood.
“We're all part of a family because we're all left our countries. So now we got to unite all together,” said Pagans.
Due to redevelopment happening in the area so quickly Ramon and other community members fear the neighborhood will become gentrified. So they are fighting to preserve the Hispanic culture that thrives there. That same fear led the Hispanic chambers of commerce is creating Centro Villa.
“With Centro Villa, one of the goals is obviously to be part of the revitalization, but also to stay true to the neighborhood we're in develop a project that's really authentic to the Latino community,” said Jenice Contreras, the executive director, Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center.
With this project, the group also hopes to help the area economically. Right now in the Clark Fulton neighborhood, 51% of the community is Latino but the poverty rate: 39.9%. It’s a food desert and there's a lack of commercial space.
“So job creation, business developments, generating income tax, having folks been able to work in their neighborhood so you could walk to your neighborhood, you could do groceries, right in your neighborhood, you could work you could start a business right here,” said Contreras.
Centro Villa would bring in 188 jobs during construction and nearly 500 once it's operating.
The 32,500 square foot warehouse will have 22 micro-retail spaces and a commercial kitchen.
Along with a community area for neighborhood organizations and outdoor serving space.
But most importantly it will celebrate Latino culture and grow a thriving community.
“And so going to a place that it's your music, your food, your art, your culture, your people really in really being able to embrace and celebrate our culture, even though we're really far away from maybe the place of our origin,” said Contreras.
But they aren't to their goal just yet.
“Yeah, so in order to do this project, we need to have commitments of $9.7 million. So is the $9.7 million projects. And so, in order to break ground, we must have 100% commitment."
Already at 60% of that goal, Contreras says they hope to break ground by spring of 2022
“I'm wishing I wish it was done already,” said Pagans.
If you are interested in donating or being a business owner in Centro Villa reach out to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Once they break ground the goal is to be done by Summer 2023.
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