Local leaders and community activists continue to voice their disapproval of New York developers LIVWRK and DFH Partners impending purchase of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. After stopping the sale of the mall to CIM Group earlier this year, community members are once again attempting to halt the sale to other allegedly Trump-affiliated companies.
“I had hoped the Crenshaw mall would be bought by local investors and that the vision of the people who helped craft the Crenshaw specific plan could also help guide what’s being built in the mall property. That is why I want to make it clear that I am opposed to any purchase of the mall that is not guided by local investors who represent the vision the residents of this community have for the mall property,” said L.A. Council President Herb Wesson. “The community has been adamant about expressing their concerns with potential buyers of the Crenshaw Mall having strong business connections to Donald Trump and Jared Kushner. It is clear that sentiment remains prevalent throughout the community. And I stand with them.”
Those opposed to the sale argue that a large-scale real estate development of this magnitude will lead to longtime resident migration and displacement as a result of gentrification.
Asher Abehsera, the founder of LIVWRK, said he will speak to residents before deciding on a makeover plan, saying, “A project of this scale affords a mix of uses.”
But opponents believe the mall is best left in the hands of those who know the community.
“I believe in the power of the people, and the people of LA built a historic effort to acquire the Crenshaw Mall. Local ownership = local power. This is exactly the type of investment we need for the 2nd District to thrive. @DTCrenshaw, let’s figure out how to make it happen,” State Sen. Holly Mitchell tweeted.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas also voiced his support of neighborhood-control of the landmark mall.
“Redevelopment of the @DTCrenshaw Plaza is a game changer. The future of the Plaza is bright given its proximity to the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Line. Community advocacy is a must for ownership that shares its values and priorities for this vital area. #40AcresAndAMall,” he tweeted.
Activists are currently asking community members to sign a petition to stop the sale of the mall.
“I’m pleased to support Downtown Crenshaw in its efforts to acquire and redevelop the Crenshaw Mall. It is organized around issues of community ownership and self-determination concerning the future of this significant commercial hub in South Los Angeles,” said retired L.A. City Council member Robert Farrell. “Its development team is unrivaled in experience and expertise and gives it the capacity to direct a project of this magnitude. I encourage and urge your participation in Downtown Crenshaw. We have a competent and capable team, and we don’t need anyone associated with Donald Trump or his son-in-law Jared Kushner coming into our community.”
The Crenshaw Subway Coalition and The Umoja Center will be holding a virtual community meeting on Saturday, Oct. 24 to discuss the most recent details concerning the sale of the mall.