Phoenix will soon see the opening of its first Latino Cultural Center, now that members of the Phoenix City Council have decided on a location for the new facility.
The project, which has been talked about and studied for well over a decade, will go up inside an existing structure known as the North Building at 1202 North Third Street, next to the Margaret T. Hance Park.
It is thought that it will cost at least $12 million to upgrade and renovate the facility for use as the new center.
According to city documents, there is currently just under $1 million available from the passage of a bond in 2001 to fund the project, with additional support expected to come from a variety of sources.
In approving the project site, council members also stipulated that if the necessary funds have not been raised by the last day of 2023, “the use agreement would need to be reevaluated.”
The city-owned North Building measures nearly 24,000 square feet and was formerly the home of the First Southern Baptist Church.
Asbestos and lead paint were removed from the one-story brick structure more than a decade ago at a cost of $145,000.
At least eight other locations for the new center were studied by an ad hoc committee before the North Building structure was decided upon.
By Garry Boulard
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