Facing growing opposition from community groups, Los Angeles-based developer CIM Group has backed out of a deal to purchase Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.
In late April, the company acquired the 40-acre property from Capri Capital Partners for $100 million, scrapping redevelopment plans that included new housing, retail and a hotel.
CIM Group instead proposed a mix of stores, restaurants and office space, reasoning that “residential uses are not suitable for this property.” The company, which has been accused of maintaining ties with President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, White House Advisor Jared Kushner, announced on Instagram yesterday that they would not be moving forward with the deal.
Opposition to the project was led by Downtown Crenshaw, a group of local activists and industry leaders, who launched a petition, website and social media channels in an effort to buy back and mall and redevelop it as a “true community-centered project with local ownership at every step of the process.”
Downtown Crenshaw celebrated the announcement with a post of its own on Instagram, writing: “Now we continue to ensure this major iconic economic center of our Black Los Angeles be placed into the community hands, redeveloped using the principles of community-wealth building and comes with a stabilization fund to take the displacement pressure off our neighbors.”
The community group hopes to see the inclusion of affordable housing, retail and recreation space, creative offices and a hotel, with investment opportunities for local residents and a plan to purchase surrounding properties to make them permanently affordable. Discussions regarding the next steps are currently underway.
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza has remained shuttered throughout most of the pandemic, which has taken a devastating financial toll on its 100-plus shops and services. The South Los Angeles shopping center is a half-mile from the new Leimert Park Metro station on the Crenshaw/LAX Line, anticipated to open next year.