Local residents say the opposition to the CIM redevelopment can be traced to the 2008 financial crisis. After a rash of foreclosures, investment firms bought homes in South Los Angeles that they turned into rentals, spreading worries about pricing out local families.
In the economic recovery, the demographics near the mall began turning more affluent and more white, said Paul Ong, director of UCLA’s Center for Neighborhood Knowledge. “I think the big fear was around Crenshaw Plaza accelerating that,” he said.
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