Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (common/locally BHCP and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw; originally Crenshaw Center) is a shopping mall located in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The mall is managed by the Capri Capital Partners Group. Its remaining anchor stores are Macy's and TJ Maxx.

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
LocationLos Angeles, California, United States
Coordinates34°00′36″N 118°20′14″W / 34.010079°N 118.337142°W / 34.010079; -118.337142Coordinates: 34°00′36″N 118°20′14″W / 34.010079°N 118.337142°W / 34.010079; -118.337142
Address3650 West Martin Luther King Boulevard
Opening dateNovember 10, 1947
ManagementCapri Capital Partners Group
OwnerCapri Capital Partners Group
No. of stores and services100+ (as of 2019)
No. of anchor tenants4 (2 opened, 2 vacant)
Total retail floor area870,000 sq ft (81,000 m2)
No. of floors2
Websitebaldwinhillscrenshawplaza.com

In April 2020 the CIM Group agreed to buy the mall for more than $100 million; it planned to convert the now-empty, former Sears and Walmart buildings into offices in order to drive more foot traffic into the remaining retail stores.[1] However, by June 2020 the plan was dropped due to community opposition.[2]

HistoryEdit

Crenshaw CenterEdit

It was the first post-war retail complex in the state of California. The open-air retail hub was originally called the Crenshaw Center and opened its doors on November 21, 1947.[3] It was anchored by a 200,000-square-foot, five-story branch of The Broadway department store,[3] Woolworth variety store, and Vons supermarket. Loading was done below ground via an underground service tunnel stretching the length of the property. The Crenshaw Center covered a gross area of 550,000 square feet (51,000 m²) and on 35 acres (140,000 m2) with 13 acres (53,000 m2) of parking space for 7000 cars per days along Santa Barbara Avenue (now MLK Boulevard). It was one of the first shopping malls in the United States and for decades was considered one of the city's main attractions.

Silverwoods opened April 8, 1949, 22,500 square feet (2,090 m2), in size, Albert B. Gardener, architect.[4]

More retail stores were added to the complex in the early 1950s and mid 1960s,[5] including a Desmond's department store.

May CompanyEdit

A branch of the May Company that had already previously opened on October 10, 1947, was not part of the Crenshaw Center and was located directly across Santa Barbara Avenue to the north. It would be integrated into the mall later.[6]

Combination and first renovationEdit

The shopping complex underwent a massive renovation that started in mid-1986 and combined the two lots on either side of the boulevard. Much of the original inline store space was demolished. In 1989 a two-level, enclosed regional shopping mall structure was built, which was anchored by the existing The Broadway and May Company stores which were connected with a bridge and included a new Sears as the mall's third anchor.

The new indoor shopping complex, now known as Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, officially opened its doors to the public and dedicated with a grand opening ceremony in November 1989 by Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley. The mall's size increased to 870,000 square feet.

After a series of rebrandings and major renovation work of the two original department stores, the mall anchors changed as follows:[7]

  • The original Broadway building became a Macy's in 1996, then a Walmart in 2001, which closed in 2016
  • The original May Company building, became Robinsons-May in 1993, then Macy's
  • Sears closed after an announcement in November 2019[8]
  • Lucky's supermarket was bought by Albertsons in mid-1999

On July 12, 1995, the first Magic Johnson Theatres opened as a 15-screen cinema complex. The grand opening featured many well-known celebrity guest such as then Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and others. The mall contains an additional 115 new retail and specialty shops on over 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land which is located in one of the most densely populated and busiest areas in the United States.[9]

Second renovationEdit

In early 2005, global investors Capri Capital Partners purchased the shopping mall. In 2010, the mall owners added a new interior embellishments, a modern and larger food court on the first level. Capri has also redesigned the theme Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Bridge to a glass see-through bridge overlooking Crenshaw Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Renovations also came with new balcony rails, parallel escalators, elevators with new LCD indicators and new tile flooring on the first and second floor levels. There was also new paint jobs to the Macy's and the now-closed Walmart historical buildings were painted from peach to bright white. The first phase of renovation was officially completed in November 2011.[10]

New tenants with and after the second renovation included a new Cinemark XD Extreme multiplex cinema,[11]Pink, Victoria's Secret, Forever 21 and Lane Bryant. New restaurants included Post & Beam, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Recent loss of anchorsEdit

Walmart closed its outlet at this location on January 17, 2016.[12]

On November 7, 2019, it was announced that Sears would be closing this location a part of a plan to close 96 stores nationwide. The store closed on February 2020.[13]

Redevelopment proposalsEdit

In 2017, there was a draft EIR (which was approved by the city council) for a third major renovation phase to transform the shopping mall into a 24-hour mixed-used entertainment complex. The open-air complex would include: a luxury 400-room hotel and resort, an office tower with a penthouse level, an open-air plaza, mid to high upscale restaurants, acres of public space, a multi-story parking structure and residential units with low-rise condominiums and apartments.[14]

In April 2020 the CIM Group agreed to buy the mall for more than $100 million. It cited the mall's proximity to a soon-to-open light rail station as favorable location-wise, and it planned to convert the former Sears and Walmart into offices, in order to drive more foot traffic into the remaining retail stores.[1] However by June 2020 the plan was dropped due to community opposition.[2]

African-American communityEdit

As African Americans began moving to the Crenshaw District and Baldwin Hills in the mid 1960s, for decades the mall has been an anchor of the African American community of a spectrum of socioeconomic classes, including, for example, a Black Santa Claus. Today, the area is becoming more ethnically diverse and gentrified, through redevelopment within the neighborhood and region.[15]

Metro RailEdit

The shopping mall will be served by the Crenshaw/LAX Line light rail line, through a light rail subway station hub.[16] It will serve the shopping center and the adjacent Kaiser Permanente medical facility at Marlton Square. It is currently under construction and is slated to open in mid 2021.[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-12/developer-spends-over-100-million-for-mall-during-pandemic
  2. ^ a b Vincent, Roger (2020-06-15). "Developer drops plan to buy Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and add offices, not housing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  3. ^ a b "Broadway's New Crenshaw Store to Open Today". Los Angeles Times. November 21, 1947.
  4. ^ "Silverwoods to Open New Store Friday". Los Angeles Times. April 3, 1949.
  5. ^ "History". www.baldwinhillscrenshawplaza.com. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  6. ^ "Opening set tomorrow for May Co. Crenshaw". Los Angeles Times. October 9, 1947.
  7. ^ "Pederence for blacks sought in Crenshaw Mall Project". www.latimes.com. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  8. ^ "4 Southland Sears locations closing as chain continues to scale back". City News Service. 2019-11-08. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  9. ^ "Magic, Sony to open 12 screen theatre in Los Angeles". latimes.com/language=en. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  10. ^ "Pink Victoria secrets". www.baldwinhillscrenshwplaza.com. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  11. ^ "Baldwin Hills mall makeover". www.baldwinhillscrenshwplaza.com. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  12. ^ "Walmart Continues Sharpened Focus on Portfolio Management". news.walmart.com. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  13. ^ Tyko, Kelly; Bomey, Nathan (November 7, 2019). "Sears and Kmart store closings: 51 Sears, 45 Kmart locations to shutter. See the list". USA Today. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
  14. ^ "Here's the Huge Plan to turn the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza into a 24 hour community". urbanize.la,com. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  15. ^ Miller, Leila (Sep 17, 2017). "This L.A. mall is famous for its African American Santa Claus. Can it survive gentrification?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  16. ^ KABC (2020-04-30). "Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza sold, residential redevelopment plan scrapped". ABC7 Los Angeles. Retrieved 2020-05-02.
  17. ^ "Baldwin Hills is Up for a Makeover". www.thenewsfunnel.com. Retrieved 2017-06-05.

External linksEdit