The Latino community makes up 73% of the population in Grandville, and that number is only expected to go up. With Hispanics being the fastest growing group in West Michigan, it makes sense that the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan is moving its focus toward economic development for the future. Such a large, growing population needs more physical space, but more importantly, a voice in the development of that space.
Roberto Torres, the new executive director of HCWM, has a strong background in development, having served as the director of development in Canton and as a development specialist in Toledo, Ohio. A good choice for an organization looking to build. His first, big project will be "Villa Grande", turning Grandville Ave into a Hispanic cultural corridor rivaling that of Chicago. There's already a number of Hispanic restaurants in the area as well as the Caesar E. Chavez Elementary School. He'd like to build on that, creating more food, shops, music, and events in the area. He envisions a place people will travel to from all over, a destination spot to experience everything Latin American.
There's a lot of potential on Grandville Ave, and as we're coming back from the recession, now is the time for building. With Roberto Torres' experience, he should be strong voice for making that development happen in a way that will be good for the community.
Read more on the Hispanic Center's Facebook page.