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Crenshaw Plaza Mall Shows Off $35M Renovation

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Juan Fernandez 620x466 2013 Juan Fernandez
Juan Fernandez joined CBS2 News as a general assignment reporter in...
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BALDWIN HILLS (CBS) — Call it an extreme make0ver mall edition.

The Crenshaw Plaza Mall in Baldwin Hills has reopened after a $35 million renovation. The work was completed in just about two years.

Juan Fernandez, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9 said shoppers couldn’t help but take notice. Said Tiffanie Price, “I’m more comfortable. Everything looks so nice. It looks a lot more modern.”

In addition to the new look, there are also new shops. For people with a sweet tooth, there is Southern Girl Desserts; they specialize in cupcakes, cookies, cakes and pies.

There is a newly-remodeled food court. You can get the typical fare (like burgers and fries) and something for the more exotic palate, like Saffron — specializing in Indian fast food.

Fernandez reports a one-time chicken join is now an elegant sit down eatery called Post and Beam.

Drae Carthon, a long-time shopper said, “Twenty years ago, this mall did not look like this.”

Ken Lombard, president of Capri Urban Investors, the group who owns the mall, says the goal of the renovation was simple: to make something the community could be proud of. “If you’re going to be successful in today’s environment, you have to create a great experience. And more and more developers, like ourselves, understand what it takes and the quality of the experience you have to provide your customer.”

One store owner, Kenneth Garrad of the bookstore Urban Experience, couldn’t be more excited. “The Crenshaw Mall is a historical mall — one of the first malls in America, I’ve heard. And just to see the big changes here, is amazing. Customers get to see something great.”

Shoppers will also see weekly kick boxing and Zumba classes on the Macy’s bridge.

And in front of the new Rave Cinemas, a 30,000 square foot plaza that can host all kinds of entertainment.

Wednesday night, the popular 70s music group Rose Royce performed.

(A note of disclosure: Ken Lombard, Capri Urban Investors, which owns the mall, is headed by CBS2 anchor Pat Harvey’s husband.)

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