Coalition to Preserve LA Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

Call To Action: City Considers Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mega-Project

In Fight Back by Patrick Range McDonald

On July 13, at City Hall, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission will consider granting numerous spot-zoning favors to a developer who wants to build a massive luxury mixed-use complex at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. Community activists fighting the mega-project need your support.

Proposed by Chicago-based Capri Capital Partners, the extensive redevelopment of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza is being touted by the media as a high-end shopping and residential complex similar to billionaire Rick Caruso’s The Grove and Americana. The only problem is that it’s not what many nearby residents need.

Instead of affordable housing, Capri Capital Partners, a multi-billion-dollar global investment firm, plans to build 551 condominiums, 410 market-rate apartments and 400 hotel rooms surrounded by pricey shops and restaurants.

In addition, Capri Capital Partners is asking City Hall to ignore existing zoning rules in the area — rules that protect residents from luxury mega-projects that create displacement and gentrification — and hand over a General Plan amendment, a zone change and a height district change. That’s known as spot-zoning. It brings in tens of millions in profits for a developer.

L.A. City Hall has clearly set its sights on gentrifying South Los Angeles.

Three miles to the northwest of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti approved the Cumulus luxury mega-project in West Adams at Jefferson and La Cienega boulevards. Five miles to the northeast, the City Council and Garcetti approved The Reef luxury mega-project in Historic South-Central. Both mega-projects, which received spot-zoning favors, are catering to the needs of affluent professionals, not longtime residents in those neighborhoods.

If City Hall hands over spot-zoning favors to Capri Capital Partners, it will create a kind of “gentrification triangle” in South Los Angeles. Lower-income and middle-class residents and mom-and-pop shops will feel the worst impacts.

Community activists need support from Angelenos throughout L.A., where gentrification and affordable housing crises are affecting residents across the city. Stand up for yourself and your neighbor and tell the City Planning Commission what you think. Go to its meeting at L.A. City Hall, room 340, at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 13.