Harridge Development Group bought the mall from a Chicago private equity fund for about $111 million, said David Schwartzman, chief executive of Harridge. His company also bought the Macy’s department store building in the mall in a separate transaction of more than $30 million with Macy’s Inc., he said, giving Harridge control of almost the entire 42-acre site that straddles Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard at Crenshaw Boulevard.
Schwarzman said he plans to start building housing on a parking lot near an Albertsons grocery store within a year and a half and move on to other additions and improvements while keeping the mall operating. The entire project will cost about $1 billion including the purchase price, he said, and could take as long as seven years.
“It’s an iconic piece of property with a tremendous amount of cultural significance,” he said. “The area is going through a huge revitalization and we think this is an amazing opportunity to do a mix of housing, retail and office all in one location.”
Contributing to revitalization in the area is a light-rail line under construction that will connect the Crenshaw neighborhood to the region’s Metro train system by next year and include an underground stop at the mall.