“This is one of the last bastions of African American ownership and it needs to be African-American led. I say to the owners that before the transaction is done, reconsider. Downtown Crenshaw can merge with other groups, but this mall needs to be Black-owned and Black-led.”Read more
“That’s not what this community is looking for,” said Goodmon. “We’re not looking for a bunch of Trump towers on Crenshaw.”
Goodmon and his cohorts see the mall as the synergistic center for the Black community. They plan to organize and strategize to buy the mall, stabilize it and redevelop it into a 21st century sustainable, 40-plus acre urban village. Downtown Crenshaw’s rejected plans reflected the mall’s operating standards of community wealth building, including a job training center, preparing residents for 21st century jobs in healthcare, technology and entertainment.Read more
The recent reopening of the mall revealed skeletal staffing and operations, a dearth of consumers and stores that have yet to reopen and other empty spaces where former tenant retailers have permanently closed. The financial distress is palpable, so it is clear that continued mall operations are at risk.
A permanent mall closure would become an unparalleled blight in our community, causing tremendous economic damage. The risk of running away viable developers is too high for our community. A new buyer may well decide to avoid neighborhood politics by pursuing a “by-right” development of thousands of market rate apartments.Read more
Jackie Ryan, a Downtown Crenshaw Rising board member and co-vice chair of the Black Community Clergy Alliance, has been in the community for 70 years.
“We have the right to determine what happens in this community,” she said. “We work here, worship here, play here, and have education here. We have the right to develop our culture. We can’t allow imperial, colonial entities to come in here and disrupt the space that we occupy.”Read more
A new group led by the Crenshaw Subway Coalition is raising funds to buy the mall in what CSC Executive Director Damien Goodmon said could be an all-too-rare example of the opportunity zone program being used for its stated purpose of benefiting underserved communities.
“There’s a real need for reform or repeal given that its current implementation has been disadvantageous for communities of color," Goodmon said. "It’s actually made it worse.”
Goodmon said a much better alternative to the current opportunity zone program would be one in which community wealth is built and maintained through projects.Read more
“This fight on the mall pushed us to make public what we’d actually been working on for the past year,” Goodmon said. “The launch of an impact fund to acquire apartments and single family homes in our community to take them off the speculative real estate market to place them into the Liberty Community Land Trust to make our community permanently affordable to us. With appropriate investment we can ensure that the residents who make up this unique community can stay in their homes and new housing is built that is affordable for us. It’s the only way we save Black L.A.”Read more