Letters to the Editor: Why a Black-owned group should have been allowed to buy Crenshaw Mall

Shoppers exit the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall on Dec. 8, 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Too often, modernization is code for displacement, particularly of Black communities that have been driven out of Los Angeles due to rising costs of living and widening wage and wealth gaps. (“Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza gets a new owner with plans to modernize the center,” Aug. 25)

Harridge Development Group’s purchase of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall threatens to exacerbate these issues, as it will make just 10% of the housing units it plans to build affordable for local residents. And let’s not forget: Harridge’s Crossroads Hollywood development was sued for trying to bulldoze over 80 rent-controlled units, leaving families in limbo.

Preserving the historic roots of Black Los Angeles and creating community wealth starts with ensuring the Black community is able to purchase, own and redevelop our mall. Our greatest resource is the people, and our coalition is here to ensure racial justice is reflected in Black ownership in South L.A. at and beyond the Crenshaw Mall.


Damien Goodmon, Los Angeles

The writer is a board member of the group Downtown Crenshaw Rising, which bid on Crenshaw Mall.