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Hard-hit South LA neighborhood gets redevelopment project with help from an LA Clippers player 

An area once known as “homicide alley” by detectives after more than 60 people were killed there will soon rise from the ashes with the help of a South Los Angeles native and Clippers player.

A space at the corner of Vermont and Manchester Avenues, which burned down during the LA Riots 30 years ago, is getting a major upgrade to provide affordable housing.

“From neglect to the symbol or rebirth, ‘Evermont’ is rewriting the story of South Los Angeles,” said Russell Westbrook, the LA Clippers player who is also a community investor in the project called Evermont, which broke ground in 2019.

Wednesday marked the eight-month mark of when the project is slated for completion. It’s expected to provide 180 affordable housing units for seniors and low-income households, a Target store, a college prep school and smaller community businesses like South LA Cafe.

“The property was seized through eminent domain. We ended up paying the property owner north of $40 million to really create an opportunity for that block,” said LA County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who said the county spearheaded the development that brought together community investors like Westbrook and private investors like Target and government. 

“It is multiple levels of government, plus private enterprise in a real partnership to bring much-needed services to the community and I’m excited about it,” said Mitchell. 

The area had been vacant since the riots.

“They burned it down, they burned all of it down,” said Tiffany Johnson, who manages the barbershop across the street. “I’m happy to see something, though. It’s been years of just nothing and they did this for the people.”

South LA native and entrepreneur Joe Ward-Wallace, who owns South LA Coffee, will be one of the local businesses taking residence at the new development. 

“I don’t know where anywhere in the world they can have an empty space in an urban community for that long. I don’t get it,” said Ward-Wallace. “I’m excited that we are going to be part of the ‘Hey, here we are again over on Manchester and Vermont.’”

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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