The solidarity economy is looking for a statement win. A headline-grabbing, underdog victory in prime time against a big, blue-blooded competitor. The Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza mall in Los Angeles could be that statement win.
The Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza mall is 41 acres of prime commercial real estate in the nation’s second largest metropolitan area. When the mall came up for sale last year, a group of residents decided to shoot for the moon and started organizing to buy it, at a price tag now in the nine figures.
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 formed a nonprofit entity to take ownership of the mall, called Downtown Crenshaw. Over the past year they…