Major Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza redevelopment wins City Council approval

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The Baldwin HillsCrenshaw Plaza has jumped its last planning hurdle and is on the straightway toward a $700 million redevelopment.

The redevelopment was approved unanimously Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council.

As planned, the mall, owned by Chicago-based Capri Capital Partners, will be turned into a mixed-use complex with 961 new condos and apartments, a 400-room hotel, and new offices, restaurants, and retail space.

The project’s development agreement was amended at a June 5 planning and land use management meeting to include an affordable housing mandate.

“This community has been waiting on this development for 10 or 12 years and it will provide the kind of investment that South Los Angeles deserves,” Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents the area, said in a statement after the June vote.

Under the agreement, Capri is required to set aside 5 percent of rental units for low-income households and 5 percent of the for-sale units for residents making 150 percent of the area median income.

The development agreement also says 30 percent of the project’s construction team has to be hired locally.

Supporters say the project will bring much-needed jobs and opportunities to the neighborhood.

But opponents maintain that this is not the development the community has been waiting for. Many said they wished the project offered more for current residents of the neighborhood in terms of affordable housing stock.

“It saddens me to be here today to speak in opposition to this project,” said Pastor William Smart, CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“This project should not be built unless it is completely affordable to the local community with a 50 percent local hire agreement,” he said. He called the project “a bad deal for the community.”

Seven groups lodged appeals against the project, including the Crenshaw Subway Coalition, the Los Angeles Tenants Union, the Los Angeles Black Worker Center, and the Black Community Clergy and Labor Alliance.

The project is the largest in the neighborhood in decades, and it has not gone unnoticed by locals.

Hundreds of supporters and opponents attended a planning commission hearing on the project in July, and more than three dozen supporters and opponents spoke at the June PLUM meeting.

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