CentroVilla25 secures $11.5 million from Cleveland Development Advisors to help transform Clark-Fulton neighborhood into a vibrant Latino cultural hub.

Cleveland Development Advisors announced it has closed on $11.5 million in state and federal new markets tax credits (NMTC) along with a $612,000 capital campaign bridge loan for the CentroVilla25 on November 21, 2023. This project serves as a pivotal anchor in the broader La Villa Hispana mission, seeking to redefine Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood into an inclusive and vibrant Latino cultural district. Notably, this neighborhood houses Ohio’s largest Hispanic population.

NMTCs, recognized as a potent tool for community development, offer tax incentives to investors supporting projects in low-income communities. CDA was awarded the allocation by the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) of the U.S. Department of Treasury.

In addition to securing NMTC financing and the capital bridge loan, CDA has supported this project since September 2019, when they provided a $690,000 loan to acquire the vacant 32,500 square foot warehouse. The CentroVilla25 initiative aims to revitalizing that vacant warehouse into a multifunctional space featuring 20 micro-retail areas, a commercial kitchen, offices for local organizations, a specialty grocery store, an inviting outdoor plaza, and dedicated spaces for arts and cultural events.

Led by the Hispanic Business Center, CentroVilla25 envisions the project as a driver of substantial economic impact, fostering job creation, supporting business development, and nurturing a flourishing local economy. Moreover, it aims to cultivate a distinctive atmosphere that honors and celebrates the rich Latino heritage woven into the fabric of this community.

Yvette Ittu, president & CEO of Cleveland Development Advisors, expressed deep enthusiasm for supporting this transformative endeavor, “Not only will CentroVilla serve as a focal point for community engagement showcasing local arts, culture and businesses, it will play a pivotal role in addressing food insecurity through the provision of a specialty grocer, fresh produce vendors, and a dynamic food hall,” Ittu said.  

“We are so excited to support this project and see it through fruition,” Ittu  said.  “CentroVilla embodies the type of catalytic projects we look to support because they have a cascading impact on the adjacent community – in this case along West 25th and throughout Clark-Fulton.”

Jenice Contreras, president and CEO of the Hispanic Business Center, underscored the critical role of the CDA funding in bridging a substantial financing gap that could have impeded the project’s progress.   

“The project has received generous support from public and civic and individual sources over the past several years, but a significant gap remains. This funding was pivotal in ensuring the project’s viability, preventing higher costs and further funding shortfalls.

CentroVilla25 is poised to become a transformative force in revitalizing Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood, fostering economic opportunity, and celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Latino community.