Latest bid to buy Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza may be dead

LIVWRK and DFH Partners had agreed to pay $110M for South LA mall in October after CIM Group backed out

Los Angeles /
Dec.December 16, 2020 04:32 PM
LIVWRK's CEO Asher Abehsera and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (LIVWRK, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw)
LIVWRK’s CEO Asher Abehsera and Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza (LIVWRK, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw)

Two months after developers appeared set to pay $110 million for the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in South Los Angeles, a deal for the mall looks like it has fallen apart.

In October, LIVWRK and DFH Partners agreed to buy the struggling property from Capri Urban Investors. That came four months after CIM Group backed out of a $130 million purchase for a planned redevelopment of the sprawling shopping center.

Now, Capri apparently is scuttling the deal, according to a source close to the transaction. One of the community groups opposed to the purchase, Downtown Crenshaw, sent an email Tuesday night announcing it had prevented the acquisition, and declaring victory.

LIVWRK and DFH Partners failed to make a payment on the property after 60 days, and requested a 10-day extension after that, according to the source. When that extension expired without a payment, the deal for the 43-acre mall was nixed, the person said.

Messages left Wednesday with DFH, LIVWRK and its CEO Asher Abehsera were not returned. Capri Urban Investors — managed by Capri Investment Group — did not return requests for comment. Capri CEO and co-founder Quintin Primo also did not return messages.

It marks the latest setback for Capri — one of the largest Black-owned real estate investment firms in the U.S. — to offload the mall, which it purchased in 2006. Many local residents have expressed a strong connection to the property, and fear its sale and redevelopment will hasten gentrification.

The mall sits at the intersection of Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. boulevards in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw neighborhood, whose population of about 30,000 is 70 percent Black.

Community groups such as the Crenshaw Subway Coalition opposed the LIVWRK purchase, with advocates highlighting previous deals between Abehsera and Kushner Companies, the New York-based firm that was led by President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, before he became a White House adviser.

Abehsera told the Los Angeles Times in October that, “neither Jared nor my family have any investment in my company or this deal,” and vowing to get community input before a mall makeover.

But Damien Goodmon, executive director of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition and board member of Downtown Crenshaw, did not buy it and expressed confidence Wednesday the deal was dead.

“LIVWRK didn’t pull out,” Goodmon said. “They got canceled.”

CIM’s deal in April to purchase the mall for $130 million evaporated when it backed out in June, saying only that the move would “best serve the community.”

Downtown Crenshaw has itself expressed interest in purchasing the mall, which is open at reduced capacity because of pandemic regulations.

Last year, Capri lost management of real estate investment portfolios of multiple public pension systems including the Los Angeles County Employment Retirement Association. Investors have called on DWS, an asset manager for Deutsche Bank, to act as independent fiduciary for Capri, including on negotiations for the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza sale.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Rendering of the project (NMDA for CIM Group)
CIM drops residential units at proposed West Hollywood hotel
CIM drops residential units at proposed West Hollywood hotel
A rendering of Dolores Huerta Apartments in South Los Angeles with Dolores Huerta (Getty,  SDS Capital Group’s Supportive Housing Fund)
Apartments named for Dolores Huerta will rise in South LA
Apartments named for Dolores Huerta will rise in South LA
CIM Group co-founders Shaul Kuba, Avi Shemesh, Richard Ressler and the site for the project. (Google Maps, CIM)
CIM Group plans 168-unit mixed-use complex in West Adams
CIM Group plans 168-unit mixed-use complex in West Adams
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan (Getty, iStock)
Mark Zuckerberg, wife fund program for South LA landlords
Mark Zuckerberg, wife fund program for South LA landlords
925 N. La Brea Avenue with CIM Group’s Shaul Kuba and WeWork’s Sandeep Mathrani (Google Maps, Getty/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
WeWork exits CIM Group’s Hollywood complex
WeWork exits CIM Group’s Hollywood complex
CIM Group's Shaul Kuba and an aerial view of the project site (Getty, Google Maps)
CIM Group plans another Hollywood apartment complex
CIM Group plans another Hollywood apartment complex
Asher Abehsera and the plaza (Credit: Google Maps)
New partnership poised to buy Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
New partnership poised to buy Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Shaul Kuba and the now-former redevelopment plan (Credit: Department of City Planning)
CIM to buy Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, scrap resi redevelopment plan
CIM to buy Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, scrap resi redevelopment plan
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...