Cleveland city leaders break ground on Hispanic business and resource center

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development along with community leaders gathered Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of Centro Villa 25.

“I can’t believe that we are finally here,” Ward 14 councilwoman Jasmin Santana said.

Centro Villa 25 is a planned 40 thousand square foot space tailored for the Spanish-speaking community in Clark Fulton near the corner of W 25th Street and Clark Avenue.

“It’s very hard to have community without physical spaces,” said NEOHCED president and CEO Jenice Contreras. “It’s been a lot of love, a lot of sweat, blood and tears, literally, to get us to today.”

The facility would become a dream come true for generations of Latino Clevelanders and workers.

“If my mom would’ve had Centro Villa, things would’ve been different,” Santana said. “Now our children will have that opportunity.”

The facility on W 25th Street where the Centro will be built used to belong to a flooring manufacturing company, which NEOHCED purchsed in 2019. While construction work has not started, Contreras says the site already feels magical.

“When you come in here and you talk about the story about this community and the story of the neighborhood and what this means, and what’s going to manifest itself in this space, people see it. People feel it,” she said.

Construction on Centro Villa is set to take between 12 and 15 months. Today, the ceremony is a reminder that the Latino spirit is already present in the city. “This is a blessing from the Lord to our community,” Santana said.

Steven Hernandez

Steven Hernandez

Steven Hernandez is a bilingual multimedia journalist who joined 19 News in July of 2019.