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After a long, drawn-out battle, the Los Angeles City Council finally put its stamp of approval on plans to create a shopping center at the intersection of Slauson and Central Avenues in Los Angeles—a supermarket-drugstore-retail project that would entail pouring $7 million in public subsidies in a crumbling industrial area that's home to a large number of "Mexican and Central American immigrants," reports the LA Times. Construction is expected to provide many much-needed local job opportunities.
This is the third time city officials have approved the project—the last two times, the plans have been stalled and challenged by one Stanley Kramer, who the LAT calls "a scrap-metal entrepreneur who is a former partial owner of the property."
Kramer’s representatives vowed Wednesday to challenge the project anew, alleging that it was rife with fraud, corruption and procedural irregularities. The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency seized the site of Kramer’s former scrap-metal recycling facility to build the shopping center.At the crux of his argument is the track record of an organization called Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles, who are co-developing the site alongside Florida-based Regency Centers. Last year, a judge ruled that Concerned Citizens "failed to construct a promised youth center for low-income families on a separate parcel it had purchased with a government grant. Instead, the city attorney’s office alleged, Concerned Citizens left the site “in a blighted state as a bare dirt lot” and sought to make a “windfall profit” through its sale." Corruption, joblessness, and stalled projects = a lose-lose situation for everyone.
· City Council again OKs controversial South Los Angeles shopping center [LA Times]