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Comedy Central and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of comedy partners. As waves of homeless descend onto trains, L. A wealthy developer owns a rare plot of green in a very crowded part of L. What does he owe his neighbors? A few more words on Alzheimer’s prevention: Tap water? Talent agencies are reshaping their roles in Hollywood.
What does it mean to be of mixed race in America? Revival of a blighted South L. Two blocks of Broadway south of Manchester are ripe for development, but the effort is being blocked by an absentee owner. Alan Kleinman’s former neighbors wonder why he stayed in South Los Angeles after his dental office was destroyed in the 1992 riots.
Some say he was never much connected to the community. When the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church held parking lot barbecues, he never joined other shopkeepers from the street, said Roscoe Baker, longtime deacon of the church. But not only did Kleinman stay, he added to the real estate investments he had been making since the 1970s. Today, he owns a dozen commercial parcels on Broadway in the two blocks south of Manchester Avenue. Among them are the still-vacant lot where his office once stood and the building across the street where he reopened his practice.
Kleinman retired a few years ago. In some circles of business and city politics, however, Kleinman is well known — as an obstacle to revitalizing an area that has languished in blight since the riots. Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who can’t get Kleinman on the phone. National retailers are said to be eager to occupy the slice of land between Broadway and the 110 Freeway, if only someone can acquire it. Curtis Fralin, a real estate investor who wants to develop the area. The problem with this site is absentee landlords. Homeless encampment in a property owned by Neighborhood Housing Services in Los Angeles.
Manchester corridor, the focus of a post-1992 redevelopment project that never got off the ground, offers a vivid example of the obstacles — economic, social and historical —that stymie the best intentions for improving South L. Older shop tenants and churchgoers recall the neighborhood’s heyday, when there were three cinemas, banks and a grocery store. The theaters and grocery store became churches and the Legal Aid Foundation took over the abandoned bank at Broadway and Manchester, said Mary M. Lee, an attorney who worked there during the 1990s. Fralin, who built a new shopping center with a CVS and a Starbucks not far away at Slauson and Central avenues, has been trying to overcome those forces for more than two decades. He obtained an exclusive negotiating agreement from the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency to build a shopping center with a Target and major grocery store.
The plan covered two large blocks south of Manchester, including several of Kleinman’s properties. Manchester project — had just expired. In a June 2007 letter to Kleinman’s attorney, Fralin expressed frustration dealing with the absentee owner. I cannot give my community what you have in your community if you and your client are uninterested and do not care. The appeal failed, and Fralin’s exclusive negotiating agreement expired.