Tracy Hadden Loh and Hanna Love write for Brookings: Residents in South Los Angeles’ Crenshaw neighborhood are in the midst of a battle against developers—seeking to block the sale of the 41-acre Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza Mall to institutional investors that would turn the property into luxury housing and threaten to displace the city’s last majority-Black community. It’s a story that could occur in any hot-market city in the nation, except for one key detail: the Crenshaw community is equipped with over $28 million in donations and another $30 million in pledged impact financing to back up their efforts. Black organizers raised this money to purchase and develop the prime commercial real estate into mixed-income housing, worker-owned cooperatives, and new green space for community benefit. They are grounding their efforts in a larger “solidarity economy” movement designed not only to shape the forces of development in Crenshaw, but to fundamentally reshape how the country thinks about development and community control. As one organizer told us, “We want to create a roadmap as an antidote to the bad Kool-Aid these developers have been selling.” If they are successful, it will be an unprecedented win in the fight for community control of commercial real estate.
go to Brookings website: The emerging solidarity economy: A primer on community ownership of real estate (brookings.edu)