By CBSLA Staff

BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA) — The nonprofit community group Downtown Crenshaw, along with other activists, marched Monday in Beverly Hills in an attempt to secure the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall for themselves.

The nonprofit community group Downtown Crenshaw, along with other activists, marched Monday in Beverly Hills in an attempt to secure the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall for themselves. (CBSLA)

Leaders said have the money, the resources and the plan to purchase the mall, but say the owners of the mall, DWS, an asset management company, won’t sell to them and they believe it’s racially motivated.

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“We don’t like that in 21st Century America, in 2020 after this racial awakening that has swept the country, that we still have to make clear that Black money is green and that Black people have a right to self-determination in their community,” Damien Goodmon, a Downtown Crenshaw board member, said.

Downtown Crenshaw claims DWS has chosen to sell to the Harridge Development Group, prompting the activists to march to a property in Beverly Hills owned by Harridge’s CEO David Schwartzman to send him a message. However, the home is under construction.

“The person that’s building this house, wants to build in our community,” an activist said during the rally.

In a statement sent to CBS, David Schwartzman said in part:

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“We have been aware of these activities and their outlandish accusations. It is unfortunate this small group, many of whom are from outside the area, so loudly want to get in the way of anything positive truly happening.”

“We have $30 million in a bank account, far more than is necessary for a deposit, are backed by multiple socially responsible investors and have some of the largest names in philanthropy and 300 community groups and leaders backing us,” Goodmon said. “This is a no-brainer for anyone who actually wants to sell the mall.”

DWS responded to the accusations in a statement to CBS that said, in part:

“DWS has conducted a thorough and fair bidding process and has engaged diligently and constructively with community leaders about the purchase of Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.”

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Downtown Crenshaw said it has blocked several other bids in the past from other companies attempting to buy the mall and they said they were not going to let the latest contract go through either.