Los Angeles

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The CIM Group announced its plans to purchasethe Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza last week, and the industryclamored with questions. The 869,000-square-foot regional mall hasbeen vacant, including both of its anchor tenants, Sears andWalmart. Now, CIM Group has plans to re-imagine the property.

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"Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza is a rare opportunity toreposition a large, centrally located property directly opposite atransit station in a mature Los Angeles community," ShaulKuba, co-founder and principal of CIM Group," tellsGlobeSt.com. "CIM is drawing on the expertise of its leasing,property management and development teams to create a thoughtfulplan for the future of the property."

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The current retail closures and the economic dislocation causedby the pandemic did not factor into CIM's decision to purchase thisasset. It was already considering the purchase before the emergencyclosures in March, and sees strong opportunity to redevelop theproperty. "We believe it offers a rare opportunity to reposition alarge, centrally located property directly opposite a transitstation in a mature Los Angeles community," says Kuba. "Based onour knowledge of and experience in the Los Angeles market webelieve this is an opportunity for us to add value to the property,and enhance the community and the region."

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The asset was entitled by the prior owner for residential units,but CIM doesn't believe residential units are a good fit for theproperty. "We believe people should be cautious about changingcommercial property to residential use and since this has been along-standing commercial property, our current thinking is itshould continue as such," says Kuba. "Retail is vital to the areaand we hope that every tenant currently at the property—retail,movie theatre, restaurants, will reopen."

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CIM doesn't have a set plan for the property, yet, but it isconsidering creative office space and more modern retail. "At thepresent, CIM believes it is valuable to retain the use as acommercial property," says Kuba. "That may include transforming thetwo large vacant department stores into creative office space, ause that would bring a larger group of daytime customers to supportthe retailers and restaurants. We are continuing our diligence onthe property."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.