CLEVELAND (WJW) — A long-fought-for effort to create a Latino cultural destination in Cleveland is finally set to begin construction.

On Monday, city council members approved a $1.5 million grant to close the funding gap in order to help build CentroVilla25, designed to be an authentic cultural hub in the predominately Latino Clark-Fulton neighborhood.

“It’s the largest single investment ever made in the Latino community, and we hope it’s the first of other investments to follow in recognizing the Latino community contributes to this city and has been for many, many decades,” said Jenice Contreras, CEO of the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development.

CentroVilla25 will transform a vacant warehouse along West 25th Street into an outdoor plaza for cultural and arts programming. It will also feature an authentic grocery store and commercial kitchen, serve as a business development center and house micro-retailers, among other amenities. CentroVilla25 is owned and developed by the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Center for Economic Development already located in the neighborhood.

“We don’t need another Ohio City, another Detroit Shoreway or Tremont. Those neighborhoods already exist — and that’s great — but here, CentroVilla in LaVilla Hispania is going to offer this cultural hub not to this area but the region as a whole,” said Contreras.

At the Old San Juan Jewelers nearby, the significant investment in the community is a development staff waited more than 20 years to see.

“CentroVilla is going to help a lot of small upcoming businesses to get that foot in the door to start their own and make for their own,” said business manager Alexandra Pagan. “We’re really excited; the momentum it’s building for our community. We feel like it’s going to be a destination point.”

Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, Ward 14, said in addition to serving as a culturally appropriate place to gather, Latinos will be able to build wealth by owning a business.

“It’s about time. We know the Latino community has been here a really, really long time and it’s about time we celebrate it and elevate it and have no confusion on where is our ethnic hub for the Latino community,” said Contreras.

The $12 million project is expected to break ground this summer and open next year.