Crenshaw Shopping Center to Get a $30-Million Face Lift

From United Press International

The decaying Crenshaw Shopping Center, the only one still serving the predominantly black Southwest Los Angeles area, will be revitalized with $30 million in tax-exempt bonds, City Council President Pat Russell announced Wednesday.

Russell, whose 6th District includes the mall at Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards, said the Internal Revenue Service has granted tax-exempt status to the bonds, allowing the city to begin design work on the shopping center.

The mall, opened in 1947, is considered the nation’s oldest shopping center.

In December, Russell announced that the bonds had been sold, but before the money could be used the IRS ruling was needed. She recently traveled to Washington to lobby for the tax exemption.


The financially troubled center will be renovated by the city Community Redevelopment Agency and Alexander Haagen, a Manhattan Beach developer.

The CRA will use its power of eminent domain to buy most of the shops, then turn the property over to Haagen, who will build a 200,000-square-foot enclosed mall. In return, the CRA will get 50% of the mall’s profits.

May Co., Broadway, Bank of America and a pancake shop will be spruced up but remain relatively untouched by the project. The two large shops will be connected to the new, main mall by overhead walkways.