A vacant building in the Roosevelt Row district of Phoenix may soon be reconverted for use as the city’s first Latino Cultural Center.
An ad hoc committee, established by the city, recommended that the center should be built in what is known as the North Building in the 1200 block of N. 3rd Street, with the cost of reconverting the structure estimated at around $12 million.
The structure is located next to the city’s Hance Park and measures around 24,000 square feet.
The city has set aside just under $1 million for renovating and updating the facility, with additional funding expected to be secured from other sources in the future.
Although finding a site for the cultural center has been an ongoing process in Phoenix for nearly a decade, several members of the Phoenix City Council have indicated that they are not entirely satisfied with the North Building location.
The council may either decide to simply approve the North Building location, or relaunch the site selection process, which would include taking a second look at around half a dozen other sites that have previously been considered.
A feasibility study undertaken two years ago by the city said that a Latino cultural center was especially important, given that census projections have shown that Latinos will make up more than 50 percent of Phoenix’s population in 2020.
By Garry Boulard
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