A very ambitious project of community-driven development

Very interesting project to follow, and it will be even more so when/if it comes through. In the historically Black Crenshaw community, a group of citizens have set their sights on an enormous project: buying a still operating mall and repurposing parts of it.

If their bid is successful, the residents envision bringing in more locally owned businesses — with a preference for worker-owned cooperatives; adding new mixed-income housing; building a recording studio; and creating new green space on the lot.

They have already raised $28 million dollars and are currently fighting the realtor so their offer is not passed over for a smaller offer by a non-Black competitor. It’s a fantastic example of solidarity economy, of the community coming together to regain control of their neighbourhood and equip themselves with the tools to raise the hopes and prospectives of everyone.

The solidarity economy —an umbrella term that loosely refers to worker-owned cooperatives and other cooperative businesses, community land trusts and other alternative ownership models for businesses, land or other productive assets, typically characterized by some type of community-rooted or democratic control and management

Not only is the mall project massive, but another initiative is also at work with plans for the surrounding residential properties.

[T]he same group of residents have also started acquiring the first of what they expect to be thousands of residential properties and units in the neighborhoods surrounding the mall to place into the new Liberty Community Land Trust, separate from Downtown Crenshaw but with some of the same board members, which will provide permanent protection against market-driven displacement from residential properties.

I encourage you to read the whole linked post for much more context on the African American aspects of the story, and wish best of luck to Downtown Crenshaw on these ambitious projets of empowerment and hope for their success, not only for their own community, but also for the example it could set for many others.