Wave Wire Services
LOS ANGELES — The city’s Economic and Workforce Development Department is seeking proposals for a community-serving development at Marlton Square, formerly called Santa Barbara Plaza, in Baldwin Village.
The city said it is seeking a development that will meet the economic needs of the entire city, create well-paying jobs for local residents and contribute to the advancement of South Los Angeles.
“Marlton Square represents an opportunity to reimagine a historically significant former retail site, and redefine its future as a commercial center that will provide 21st century living wage jobs for the Crenshaw community,” said Carolyn Hull, general manager of the department.
The request for proposals was issued by the department and the Office of Council District 10, which was previously represented by Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas before his suspension from the City Council following his indictment on federal bribery and corruption charges.
The publicly owned parcels are about five acres in size and are located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Buckingham Place and Marlton Avenue. The area will be accessible by the currently-under-construction Crenshaw/LAX Line.
“We are excited about the efforts to revitalize the long-dormant Marlton Square in the heart of our community and hope it will bring more commerce and job opportunities,” said Empowerment Congress West Area Neighborhood Development Council Chairperson Gina M. Fields.
The location was previously known as Santa Barbara Plaza and was home to more than 200 businesses and major department stores in the 1950s. City officials say the area suffered from declining investment, causing blight and deterioration by the 1990s.
“For many years, the empty lots at Marlton Square have been a blight in the community — the effects of which are far reaching,” said Yordanos Gebretatios, deputy for bioscience, economic and workforce development for Council District 10. “The 10th Council District is committed to ensuring that this publicly owned property finally uplifts the surrounding community with a meaningful commitment to local job creation and features that truly serve the surrounding community.”
Efforts to invest into Marlton Square in recent years include the creation of a Kaiser Permanente medical office building and a 102-unit affordable housing development.
“I am excited to see tangible progress being made to revitalize Marlton Square,” said state Sen. Sydney Kamlager. “Today’s call for [requests for proposals] marks a critical step in our efforts to infuse the Crenshaw neighborhood with more resources and opportunities, including in the area of bioscience. Ultimately, the Marlton Square opportunity site will support current and future residents, all the while boosting the area’s economic vitality. I look forward to hearing the progress being made in this space as we work together to chart a new course for the Crenshaw community.
People can submit proposals through Jan. 24. More information is available at https://sforce.co/31b8Q7w.