Inglewood sued again over Clippers stadium

Local group says city must entertain affordable housing proposals for 15-acre site

The proposed Clippers stadium site from W. 102nd Street (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The proposed Clippers stadium site from W. 102nd Street (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Affordable housing advocates are suing Inglewood over its plan to build a new basketball arena on city-owned land.

A local group called the Uplift Inglewood Coalition is taking the city to civil court over its move to build an arena for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers at a disused 15-acre lot on Century Boulevard, according to Curbed.

Uplift Inglewood’s lawyers claim that state law requires the city to seek affordable housing proposals for the site before it can sell or give away the land. They say the city didn’t do that when it entered an exclusive negotiation agreement with the Clippers to build the team’s stadium there.

The project is already the subject of a suit by L.A. Forum owner James Dolan. Dolan’s Madison Square Garden Company claims it handed over control of the property to the city tktk years ago under the pretense of building a technology park, which would have been good for business at the Forum.

A competing arena would likely take away from the Forum’s business. The MSG Company claimed the city agreed in writing not to build anything that would negatively impact the Forum.

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While the two suits attack different aspects of the proposal, some believe they may be related. In a Los Angeles Daily News op-ed in September, State Senator Steven Bradford called Uplift Inglewood a “shadow group… functioning as a front for entertainment tycoons like Madison Square Garden and Live Nation.” He also claimed the site was considered unsuitable for housing because of flight paths from Los Angeles International Airport, although there is housing nearby.

Inglewood Mayor James Butts has said that MSG gave up the land to settle a debt and dispute with L.A. Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

Whether they get the Clippers arena built or not, Inglewood is about to be transformed by a much-larger football stadium already under construction.

The 60-acre Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park will be the new home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. The cost of the stadium has ballooned to $4.9 billion, from $1.8 billion. It will include a casino; 900,000 square feet of retail space; 800,000 square feet of office space; and 2,500 residential units.

It has spurred a lot of investment in the surrounding area.

The Clippers arena has faced scrutiny since last June, when the city entered the exclusive agreement with the city over the site. The original proposal would have required the demolition of a number of homes, businesses, and a church. The city revised that plan in August, but some nearby businesses would still have to go. [Curbed]Dennis Lynch