Black Community Leaders In Crenshaw Are Protesting Sale Of The Baldwin Hills Mall
Black clergy and community leaders are protesting the sale of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall to the Harridge Development Group. They expect the sale to close on Friday and they predict it will lead to gentrification in the historically Black Crenshaw neighborhood.
Damien Goodmon with the group Downtown Crenshaw Rising says outside developers have made it difficult for Black people to stay put.
"The housing insecurity, the black houseless crisis, the difficulty that black merchants have — they don't mean to do us well," Goodmon said.
Goodmon says his group submitted a bid for the mall after raising funds. They planned to provide affordable housing, green space and other community goods. Their team includes the architects behind one of the Smithsonian museums.
But they say Deutsche Bank rejected their offer in favor Harridge's. Goodmon calls the decision racially motivated.
"Black people having the plan, black people having the money, and still being denied the opportunity to control our spaces is something that should anger anyone who wants to live in a more just society," Goodmon said.
In a statement, Deutsche Bank said it conducted a fair and open sale process and selected the best bid based on purchase price, proof of adequate financing and development expertise.