Committee Chooses Phoenix Latino Cultural Center Site

By Christina Estes
Published: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 4:17pm
Updated: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 4:18pm

street and exterior of former church
Christina Estes/KJZZ
The recommended location for a Latino Cultural Center is on the northwest corner of 3rd Street and Moreland in downtown Phoenix.

An ad hoc committee formed to develop a strategic for a Latino cultural center in Phoenix has picked a location.

After visiting centers in Albuquerque and Dallas and considering properties in south Phoenix and downtown, the committee chose an existing city-owned building on the northwest corner of 3rd Street and Moreland — that’s between Roosevelt and McDowell.

The 23, 000 square foot building was last used as a church many years ago and includes a choir balcony and basement. Through a 2001 city bond program, there’s about $1.4 million set aside to promote Latino culture. The committee’s building choice is estimated to cost $12 million dollars.

The committee will make a presentation to the council, which must approve the location. The search for funding sources and specific designs will follow.

In 2016, the city hired a consultant to conduct a feasibility study. Based on community input, focus groups and site visits, two main themes emerged:

  • A desire for a visible Latino cultural presence in Phoenix at the heart of the city’s cultural center;
  • Latino cultural center should be on par and in company with Phoenix’s other major cultural institutions and art centers locate downtown.

In 2019, interim Mayor Thelda Williams created the Latino Cultural Center Ad Hoc Committee to create a strategic plan, research potential sites and make recommendations to the city council.

Other downtown locations considered:

  • Regency Garage at southwest corner of 2nd Street and Adams Street.
  • Public Market parking grounds at southwest corner of 1st Street and McKinley.
  • Herberger Theater grounds at southwest corner of 3rd Street and Monroe.

Other city-owned sites considered:

  • Northeast corner of 7th Street and Buckeye.
  • Aviation land reuse “Spark” areas.
  • Del Rio Landfill.
  • Southeast corner of Broadway and Central Avenue.
  • Southwest corner of 5th Avenue and Broadway.
exterior of former church
Christina Estes/KJZZ
The Latino Cultural Ad Hoc Committee voted to recommend this former church as the site for a future center.
side view of former church
Christina Estes/KJZZ
According to a Phoenix spokesperson, the city-owned building has been "unused for a few decades."

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