“It always seems impossible until it is done.”

— Nelson Mandela

Our collaborative effort builds off community-centered development strategies successfully implemented and proven in Black neighborhoods throughout the country that were led by the people at the table here.

Market Creek Plaza (San Diego)

Backed by the Jacobs Foundation, the 50-acre Market Creek Plaza development is a national model for community ownership from start to finish.

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Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (Boston)

Responding to decades of neglect, residents came together to implement a national model for community-centered planning and organizing in the Roxbury community of Boston. Paul Yelder, the first executive director of the area’s community land trust Dudley Neighbors, Inc. is a Leimert Park resident is one of Downtown Crenshaw technical advisors.

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Rolland Curtis Gardens (South L.A.)

Rolland Curtis Garden is an inspiring example of a community organizing to take back the land from a powerful developer who sought to displace residents. Malcolm Harris, a Chesterfield Square resident and organizer during that campaign is one of the Downtown Crenshaw technical advisors.

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The Cleveland Model (Cleveland, OH)

In Cleveland, Ohio anchor institutions (hospitals and universities), the government and non-profit organizations are coming together to implement a new model of large-scale worker-owned and community-benefiting businesses.

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We have done this before, and we will do it here!

Downtown Crenshaw is a legacy-defining collaborative project and call for unity and self-determination.

On April 29, 2020, the day that the story broke in the news, community-centered developers and civic organization leaders in the community surrounding the Crenshaw Mall began to question how it was possible that the economic anchor of Black Los Angeles could be lost to an outside force like CIM Group. Then someone made a suggestion: “Let’s buy the mall, and redevelop it ourselves!”

What began with a few phone calls is growing into the most positively transformative process and project in the history of the Crenshaw community. This is a historic coming together of community-based and focused experts with over 200 collective years of experience in finance, acquisition, and real estate development, collaboratively working with civic leaders and organizers to identify strategies to quickly acquire the Crenshaw Mall and make it a true community-centered development with local ownership at every step of the process.

People-driven. Community-focused.

We will own the change. And our neighbors will be here to enjoy it.

Join the Effort


"If you want to go far, go together."

— African Proverb


Community-Centered Development Elements

  • CLT Housing Lower Roxbury Housing…that we can afford

    Too often new housing is built outside the range affordable to long-time community residents. The Downtown Crenshaw Team has identified the financing and developed thousands of units of affordable housing, senior housing and mixed-income communities across the region and country. We will build housing the community can afford.

  • Brunch family Retail and Recreation…that is for us

    Building on the successful community-serving small businesses currently in the mall, we will attract quality retail tenants, including a hotel, to serve our economically diverse community, support emerging entrepreneurs, and encourage the growth of worker-owned co-ops, with entertainment, recreation and convening space.

  • Office Office…that is for us

    We know that our community has many corporate and nonprofit executives who every day drive to their offices in other parts of our region. We are going to bring them home to Downtown Crenshaw to establish the creative synergy to build a powerful Black business and cultural economy, job opportunities and services for the community.

  • Community-wealth building

  • Baldwin Village ApartmentsCommunity Stabilization Fund

    Rising rental and home prices are pushing out and pricing out long-time residents and challenging the integrity of the unique cultural community that is Crenshaw. Simultaneous to our effort to redevelop the mall, we will be buying homes and apartments in the surrounding area to preserve them as permanently affordable to the community to create neighborhood stability.

  • Collective OwnershipCommunity Ownership

    A large redevelopment project must share the wealth with the community. That begins with community ownership in the mall through investment opportunities for local residents, community ownership in the planning and reenvisioning phase, good jobs and community participation in the construction and operation, and local preference for procurement contracts.



What is your vision?

The guiding principles of community-centered development and community-wealth building provide a framework.

Join us in this conversation. We want to hear more from you.

What do you want to see in a Crenshaw Mall redeveloped and reimagined as Downtown Crenshaw?

Take the Survey

The Plan

When we purchase the mall, it won’t be business as usual. We’re bringing a solidarity economy to Crenshaw that gives us the tools to attack 21st-century problems and care for our community. Our plan includes:
  • Affordable housing
  • Community resources
  • Job training programs
  • Access to locally-grown food
  • Green solutions
  • Worker-owned cooperatives
With ownership over our own community, we’ll build a strong economy that returns its wealth back to the local residents.