Maria Cabildo, president of East Los Angeles Community Corporation, speaks to a crowd at La Casa del Mexicano's visioning meeting. Photo by Kris Fortin/LAStreetsblog
Maria Cabildo, president of East Los Angeles Community Corporation, speaks to a crowd at La Casa del Mexicano's visioning meeting. Photo by Kris Fortin/LAStreetsblog
Maria Cabildo, president of East Los Angeles Community Corporation, speaks to a crowd at La Casa del Mexicano’s visioning meeting. Photo by Kris Fortin/LAStreetsblog

Hugged by Fourth and Sixth Streets, and in the middle of a residential area, La Casa del Mexicano has been neglected for years—it’s continued existence was in doubt only a few years ago. But on Wednesday, more than 80 community members shared their ideas on what the iconic space could become.

La Casa was most recently an events hall, hosting concerts, parties and even lucha libre matches. Residents at the meeting called for La Casa to become an all-purpose community center, complete with technology training, job services, and activities for youth and families.

Hosted by East Los Angeles Community Corporation, the local non-profit affordable housing developer, the task to revitalize the space officially fell on ELACC in January. The estimated cost to rehabilitate La Casa is as high as $5 million, said ELACC president Maria Cabildo in an interview.

After a lengthy process that reached the state’s attorney general, the rights to La Casa were handed over to ELACC along with the debt incurred from the previous owner. Mexican Benefit Corp., the previous owner, took out a loan of $165,000 in 2006 and failed to repay it leading to the foreclosure of La Casa, said Cabildo. Not content to let the space languish, activists took complaints to city officials and even got the attention of the California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Read the full story at la.streetsblog.org

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