“Significant upgrades”: South LA listing points to a changing city  

A faded Bank of America site on Crenshaw Boulevard goes to market for $5M

5471 Crenshaw Blvd, aerial view of Crenshaw Boulevard and SoFi stadium
5471 Crenshaw Blvd, aerial view of Crenshaw Boulevard and SoFi stadium (Google Maps, Getty)

The listing advertises a development opportunity along one of L.A.’s most famous thoroughfares: a roughly half-acre site on Crenshaw Boulevard that’s currently occupied by a Class C Bank of America building.   

But look a little closer, and it also points to something else: some of the biggest changes that have shaped Los Angeles. 

“I started working in that neighborhood four or five years ago,” said Casey Lins, the broker with Kidder Mathews who has the listing. “With the opening of the new LAX to Crenshaw Metro rail line, it increased the density significantly. TOC was introduced, Opportunity Zones were introduced, so these are high-density multifamily sites. … And it has brought a ton of capital into that neighborhood.” 

The 0.6-acre property that’s on the market is located at 5471 Crenshaw Boulevard, in the South L.A. neighborhood of Hyde Park. It’s one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, in the middle of a region that has long served as the city’s cradle of Black business and culture, with Crenshaw as the main artery. As of 2021, Hyde Park’s population of around 32,000 remained largely Black and Latino. 

But for years now South L.A., after decades of underinvestment, has transformed perhaps as fast as anywhere in Southern California. Prices of single-family homes have soared, leading to windfalls for some longtime owners but also new gentrification fears. The new Crenshaw/LAX  Metro line, which partially opened last fall and includes a Hyde Park stop near the Bank of America site, has spurred billions of dollars of new commercial and multifamily investment into the area. A few miles to the south of the Bank of America listing site, the city of Inglewood has hosted the opening of SoFi Stadium and adjacent Hollywood Park district. A few miles to the north, the neighborhood of West Adams is in the middle of a transformation driven almost single handedly by Shaul Kuba’s CIM Group, which is simultaneously developing at least 40 properties.  

Numerous multifamily and commercial developments have sprouted in the vicinity of 5471 Crenshaw, including the 195-unit Crenshaw Lofts, a 79-unit Haroni Investments project that’s replacing a used tire store and an 82-unit mixed-use project from SoLa Impact that replaced a laundromat. Hudson Pacific Properties is pursuing a 300,000-square-foot commercial project, and in 2021 Harris Development Group bought the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, a large mall, and announced a $1 billion redevelopment plan that includes housing, retail and offices.  

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But until now 5471 has remained a relic of the old Crenshaw Boulevard. The one-story Bank of America building went up in 1963 and looks the part, with a large parking lot and faded, beige exterior accented with a brown brick facade.  

Early last year the national bank sold the property to Sefox Investment, an entity tied to an address in L.A.’s Downtown Fashion District, for $1.9 million, according to property records. The next month Sefox sold it to Greenfield Investments, an entity tied to a Westside L.A. firm, for $1.93 million. 

The current owner, Lins said, was interested in the property because of its location as a potential multifamily development site, then decided to put it on the market after noticing numerous other nearby sales. 

Five years or so ago Lins, the broker, estimates the development site might have fetched as little as $1 million. It was listed in late March for just under $5 million. “It’s a really good price compared to six months ago,” Lins said, noting the recent market cooling. 

So far the property has generated interest from both affordable housing and market rate developers, the broker said, who could end up building apartments that rent in the $2,000 to $3,000 range — a price that would scream luxury in Kansas City but is far lower than the rent at new apartments in other parts of L.A.  

“Whether you’re a business seeking a high-visibility location, or an investor seeking a covered land play, the property is well positioned to provide profits for future generations,” the listing emphasizes. “The Crenshaw corridor is going through significant upgrades.” 

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