Gentrification concentrated in areas long plagued with gang problems.
LOS ANGELES – Bloomberg recently released an explosive expose about the behind the scenes action of the connection between a local liquor store, a real estate developer, and city attorney’s office that appear to be attached to the rapid gentrification of West Adams Blvd.
After CIM Group received a construction loan, they quickly started gobbling up the properties along West Adams Blvd.
He is currently working on 40 properties in West Adams at once. That includes construction of 15 new buildings, two to six stories high, with glass storefronts at street level and as many as 170 apartments above. Other CIM projects on West Adams are hipster bait—industrial spaces reconfigured to lure affluent tech and entertainment professionals.
Because of Kuba, a neighborhood formerly occupied by auto mechanics, upholsterers, and pipe fitters, and long plagued by gang violence, now has its own Szechuan noodle joint, a vinyl record shop, and a $200-a-night boutique hotel.
The tried and true tactic of “gang nuisance” chatter typically revolves around liquor stores, large housing complexes, and/or commercial shopping plazas, in the direct path of gentrification. Typically at the expense of minorities who live and operate businesses in the immediate areas.
The tactic appears to include a real estate developer making an unsolicited offer for your land. You refuse. Then the city comes knocking at your door threatening “abatement” if you don’t agree to adding security guards, and give the local law enforcement agency access to your surveillance cameras.
Angelenos saw this happen with the Liquor Bank, Nipsey Hussle’s shopping plaza, and not it rears its ugly head on West Adams Blvd.
In 2017, Kuba summoned Abdul Jamal Sheriff, who owns a liquor store a half-block from the Chevron station, to a meeting at CIM’s Wilshire Boulevard offices. He offered Sheriff $2.6 million for his store and an adjoining duplex, about 60% more than Sheriff paid for the business and buildings in 2005 and 2015.
Sheriff told Kuba he needed to think about it.
A few weeks after their first meeting, Kuba called Sheriff in again. It was time to close the deal, he said. He promised Sheriff he could continue operating Holiday Liquor for another year or two until CIM tore it down. Sheriff said he wasn’t ready to sell. “That’s when everything blew up,” he says. Kuba exploded and called him “a piece of shit” and said CIM was just trying to help him because “nobody” wanted him on West Adams anymore, Sheriff testified in a 2019 court deposition.
Eight months after the meeting, as Sheriff was talking to architects about developing the property himself, the LA Office of the City Attorney accused him in a civil complaint of allowing Holiday Liquor to become an “anchor point” for the West Boulevard Crips gang in West Adams. The complaint cited three shootings and other crimes in the vicinity in the previous two years and described Holiday Liquor as “a threat.” The prosecutors asked the judge to grant an injunction compelling Sheriff to abate the “public nuisance.”
South LA continues to be a hotbed of increased shootings, particularly those in the area represented by Marqueece Harris-Dawson. The majority of the shootings are happening between Slauson and Florence Ave along Crenshaw Blvd, alongside the soon to open Crenshaw/LAX rail line.
All things connect.
Read the full Bloomberg article on Holiday Liquor by clicking here.