Real Gs really do move in silence.
After months of waging multiple campaigns and building a massive coalition of hundreds of local/Black community organizations to defeat development partners of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, Downtown Crenshaw Rising (DCR), quietly raised over $28 million from philanthropists and an additional $6 million in letters of intent from impact investors to support their bid to buy the iconic Crenshaw Mall, reports PR Newswire.
“Through Downtown Crenshaw, we are showing that it is possible for Black people to collectively control Black spaces, beat outside gentrifiers and create a new just model of redevelopment that uplifts communities like Crenshaw without uprooting long-time residents and merchants,” said Damien Goodmon, Board Member of DCR and a descendant of L.A.’s historic Blodgett family in a news release.
Despite the financial support from a who’s-who of philanthropists and socially responsible investors, community support, and offering the highest bid, the sellers of Crenshaw Mall (Deutsche Bank/DWS) are allegedly refusing to allow the Black collective the opportunity to buy the property.
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“We offered a higher bid and more generous terms than anyone,” said DCR Board Chair Niki Okuk in the statement. “Yet Deutsche Bank’s Tim Ellsworth won’t even respond to Black people.”
A press conference will be held on March 24 to demand Deutsche Bank/DWS to sell the mall to the people of Crenshaw through Downtown Crenshaw Rising.
“We will not allow the overt institutional racism by Deutsche Bank/DWS to continue on our Crenshaw Mall or anywhere,“ said Rev. William Smart Jr., of the SCLC-Greater Southern California in the statement.
According to the release, a letter by Black civil rights and business organizations calls on the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, to work with the leaders to “remove the racially restrictive covenant that Deutsche Bank/DWS has placed on the Crenshaw Mall.”
Currently, The Crenshaw Mall is owned by a private equity firm invested in by over a half-dozen public pension funds which include the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association, UC Board of Regents, Texas Teachers, New York City Teachers, and the New York City Employees Retirement System.