The Black community in South Los Angeles has lost the bid for the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza ownership despite being the highest bidder.
Last spring, the mall’s current owner and brokerage firm, DWS, sold the plaza mall to Los Angeles-based developer Harridge Development Group. DWS made the move despite Downtown Crenshaw Rising (DCR) raising the highest bid of $115 million, The Hill reports.
DCR, whose intent is to maintain the mall’s historically Black presence, believes DWS decided to give the mall to non-Black and non-local developers to continue the city’s alleged gentrification plans. One of the leaders of DCR, Damien Goodmon, told Spectrum News that gentrification is what the South Los Angeles Black community is fighting against.
“It’s really about facing gentrification,” said Goodmon. “We’re coming together to assert that Crenshaw will be a Black space.”
Baldwin Hills is a well-known Black neighborhood in Los Angeles, flourishing with Black-owned businesses. Businessowner Malik Muhammad has had his Malik Books in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza since 1994, and he – like others – wants to keep it that way. “We deserve to have literature, books, and cultural and diverse materials that speak to our voice and our people,” Muhammad said, according to Aziza Shuler of Spectrum News 1.
The Hill reports that the sale reportedly closed last Friday.