La Placita’s past will be part of its future.

The multi-colored complex on the grounds of the Tucson Convention Center is a pile of rubble now. What will rise up will be an apartment complex bearing the name of a business and family that once thrived there.

HSL Properties began demolition on the village in January. In its place they are building “The Flin,” a market-value apartment complex named after El Charro Café’s Flin family. Omar Mireles, president of HSL, says the historical buildings including the Samaniego House, the stables and the Flin building will be preserved.

They provide echoes of an area that was once teeming with life before homes and businesses were razed in 1971 for the Convention Center and office complex.

Once, Mariachi music poured out of La Placita every weekend as locals gathered to dance and socialize with their neighbors. Children dressed in traditional Mexican and Spanish costumes paraded through the placita kicking off festivities for La Placita festival, which began in 1950.

La Placita had a little bit of everything. Locals with a sweet tooth visited Ronquillo’s Bakery before heading to La Plaza Theatre for a Spanish movie. El Charro Café, the home of the chimichanga, provided patrons a taste of Monica Flin’s famous Sonoran food.

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