A deep pocketed, ultra wealthy, Brentwood developer, Thomas Safran, is the latest self-proclaimed appropriator of Black historic and cultural points of interest in Los Angeles. First, the infamous Dunbar Hotel and now the Federally Registered Historic Landmark known as the Watts Train Station and the sacred Cultural Crescent Parkland.
Lillian “Momma” Mobley (RIP) and many other Black women championed the fight to get the City to live up to its promise to develop the Cultural Crescent Parkland as a passive park connecting the Train Station to the world famous Watts Towers. And if that wasn’t enough, Graham Street, the pathway to the Towers along with a park and ride lot were thrown in for good measure. What’s next? Inglewood and Leimert Park are already in his sights as he prowls Black neighborhoods for culturally important land grab opportunities.
As the owner of 6,000 units of luxury and affordable housing, his appropriation of the Cultural Crescent in Watts is driven by nothing more than greed. With help from his powerful political friends, he’s been able to acquire land for pennies on the dollar. And then relying on the same network of political cronies, he’s been able to win hundreds of millions more in grants and low/no interest loans to continue his march to perpetual wealth.
I’ve never heard of unringing a bell but I’m trying to stop this ill-guided project that promises to steal opportunity from the people of Watts before the final toll. Los Angeles is scrambling to make the appearance that institutional and systemic racism is being routed out of public policy and politics while at the very same time, looking the other way while places like Watts get pillaged.
Timothy Watkins Sr.TW Ex Summary Safran Project_AMSedit