CENTRO ESPANOL SALE DELAYED by Roxanne Escobales

11/14/06

The sale of the historic Centro Espanol building in West Tampa has been delayed. The Institute for Community Development, which is a spin-off from the large, evangelical Without Walls International Church, had planned on closing the sale on the property today.

But the organization decided to put off the deal until December 14th, after it received a letter from the City of Tampa outlining concerns it had with the sale.

The now defunct Urban League had bought the Centro Espanol from the city in a complicated arrangement involving grant funds that tied the use of the building to specific purposes. There are questions over whether the Urban League has the right to sell the building to Without Walls church.

The residents of the historically Latino West Tampa oppose the church, or its Institute for Community Development, from owning the Centro Espanol, a former social club that served members of Tampa’s cigar rolling past.

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