LA Mall Purchase Would Be the Biggest Victory Yet for Community-Driven Development

The solidarity economy is looking for a statement win. A headline-grabbing, underdog victory in prime time against a big, blue-blooded competitor. The Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza mall in Los Angeles could be that statement win.

They formed a nonprofit entity to take ownership of the mall, called Downtown Crenshaw. Over the past year they successfully rebuffed two bids from outside investors, and at a March 24 press event they went public with the $28 million in donations they’ve raised for a down payment on the property. Remarkably for a philanthropic effort, they’ve already got the $28 million in the bank, held in trust, ready to wire over at a moment’s notice. But now they’re saying the brokers for the property have stopped responding to them and have instead accepted another bid at a lower price. Downtown Crenshaw says they have enough investor interest to match any legitimate price offered for the property.

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