Skip to content

Delay in the sale of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza


Nearly 100 interested persons joined in February’s Downtown Crenshaw town hall zoom meeting, where they not only learned about the delay of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza sale, but also the progress of the Downtown Rising Liberty Community Land Trust.

“We’re in the middle of a membership drive,” reported Jan Williams.

“Put $5 on it. Ask five members of your community, your family, your neighbors to put $5 on it,” she said, noting the organization’s website:

Zarita Jones, the vice chair of the land trust, which was established in 2019, reported that a grant from the Irvine Foundation was received for capacity building. Additionally, LA County has helped the organization purchase South Central properties.

“There are 14 units in escrow right now to be owned by the tenants living there,” Jones said.  “Our goal is not to displace like the developers do.”

The trust is concentrating on the Crenshaw corridor – from the 10 freeway to Inglewood. Their goal is to have 100 units purchased by the end of the year and a thousand units by the end of 2022.

“The evictions are real,” Jones said, referring to tenants who are victims of the COVID-19 pandemic job loss and face the possibility of losing their apartments. She called for attendees to alert the trust when properties go up for sale, stating their goal: “Grab it and hold it. I need everybody’s eyes, I need everybody’s ears.”

Damien Goodman spoke on behalf of Downtown Crenshaw.

“Our goal is not just to buy a mall or a property but to liberate a community,” he said, explaining that the current mall owners, Capri Capital, was unable to get partners to buy the mall, although several were considered, including DWS Group and CIM Group, which had connections to Jared Kushner and Livwrk. Their agreement to purchase the mall was cancelled and they reportedly lost a $10 million deposit.

Downtown Crenshaw supporters got petition signatures, conducted social media campaigns, held press conferences, challenged would-be buyers at Neighborhood Council meetings and picketed developers’ offices and homes.

“We went to his home and let him know ‘you’re going to be uncomfortable, as we are when you come into our neighborhood,”

Williams said of one would-be developer.

“Our power and numbers speak to how much this asset means to the community,” said member Niki Okuk, explaining that the plaza is the only mall in the area. “We drive our kids to movies there. The entire community is advocating for self- determination.”