The original 54-acre Crenshaw Redevelopment Project was adopted in 1984 to rehabilitate the former Crenshaw Shopping Center. The project was expanded in 1994 in response to the 1992 civil disturbances.
The 152-acre Amended Crenshaw Redevelopment Project consists of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, Santa Barbara Plaza, portions of Crenshaw and Martin Luther King, Jr. boulevards, and Leimert Park Village. The project is in South Los Angeles, eight miles south of downtown, midway between the San Diego and Harbor freeways, and south of the Santa Monica Freeway.
To rehabilitate the Santa Barbara Plaza Shopping Center;
To revitalize Leimert Park Village—which will involve seeking additional funds for Phase Two of the Commercial Façade & Signage Grant Program and for an expanded Streetscape Program; and
To help the City’s General Services and Cultural Affairs departments revitalize the Vision Complex.
Conditions at Time of Adoption
Built in 1947, the former Crenshaw Shopping Center was showing significant signs of deterioration. The 860,000-square-foot center consisted of 23 interconnected buildings and 13 freestanding structures that were out-of-date, in need of repair, and not being fully utilized. Although the center housed two major department stores, The Broadway (now Wal-Mart) and Robinson’s (now Macy’s), the parking lot circulation system and other public improvements were inadequate for current needs.
The civil disturbance of April 1992 damaged 19 properties in the Amended Project Area and emphasized the need for CRA/LA assistance. Of the 250 buildings in the expansion area, 58 (23 percent) had significant vacancies. The properties were small and awkwardly shaped. Many buildings were out-of-date, in need of repair, and no longer occupied by merchants. The Santa Barbara Plaza Shopping Center was in a state of disrepair, and a magnet for crime. These conditions led to the adoption of the Amended Crenshaw Redevelopment Project in 1994.
Our Key Accomplishments
The original Crenshaw Redevelopment Project Area is now complete, with the 1988 redevelopment of Crenshaw Shopping Center—now known as Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza—the AMC Magic Johnson Theaters, added in 1995, and the theaters’ subsequent expansion.
The project involved purchasing the site, relocating tenants, and demolishing most of the buildings. The original Broadway and Robinson’s buildings were retained, and a Sears store was added to the new, two-level mall. Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza now contains approximately 933,000 square feet of retail space and has created an estimated 1,100 permanent jobs.
For the Amended Crenshaw Redevelopment Project Area, CRA/LA initially selected a developer in 2000 to rehabilitate the Santa Barbara Plaza Shopping Center. Completed in 1955, the center was out-of-date and in need of repair. When development negotiations did not result in an agreement, a new developer (Capital Vision Equities) was selected in 2001.
In 2004, a development agreement was approved for the Marlton Square Mixed-Use Development in Santa Barbara Plaza. After construction started on the senior housing units, the developer’s legal and financial problems brought work to a standstill in early 2008. However, CRA/LA is working to resolve these issues.
The Commercial Facade & Signage Grant Program has provided eligible property owners along Crenshaw Boulevard and in Leimert Park Village with up to $25,000 to improve their storefronts. Streetscape improvements were also carried out in Leimert Park Village, and a Leimert Park Feasibility Study was completed in 2007 with widespread community participation.
Between 2009 and 2014, CRA/LA plans to further improve the Crenshaw neighborhood by:
- Completing the Buckingham Senior Housing development at Santa Barbara Plaza;
- Identifying new development options for Santa Barbara Plaza and attracting new development activity; and
- Continuing to purchase land within Santa Barbara Plaza so that CRA/LA can participate as a property owner in future development.