South LA residents divided over massive Carmel Partners project

The age old gentrification debate is raging in South L.A..

A group of local residents is protesting a plan to build a 30-story residential complex on the corner of La Cienega and Jefferson Boulevards, according to the L.A. Times.

Some believe that the 2 million-square-foot project, known as Cumulus, will drive low- and modest-income residents out of the neighborhood as the luxury apartments fill up.

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The Crenshaw Subway Coalition, a local community group, joined forces with Friends of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, a group associated with the ballot measure that will attempt to halt all major development that requires certain zoning variations. The groups filed a lawsuit against the city last month, arguing that officials unlawfully approved the project by San Francisco real estate firm Carmel Partners when they amended zoning and height restrictions.

“This project ain’t for us,” Damien Goodmon, head of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition,  told the L.A. Times. “There will be many renters around the area who are going to be indirectly displaced because the value of the land is going to go way up because you impose this many market rate units on an environment.”

The city, however, contends that Cumulus will bring amenities to the community that otherwise would exist. Developers have also said the project, one of the biggest of 2016, would create more than 1,700 jobs during construction and up to 1,200 full-time jobs after it’s complete. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen