West Adams Boulevard runs east and west through central Los Angeles. To the north rise the skyscrapers of Mid-Wilshire, California’s new Wall Street, and the malls and mansions of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. To the south, such communities as Watts, Compton, and Inglewood line LA’s vast interior grid, composed largely of low-income Black and Latino neighborhoods with steel bars on the doors and windows.
West Adams marked the northern curfew line during the Watts Rebellion in 1965 and still bears burn scars in empty lots from the 1992 Rodney King uprising. Today the neighborhood centered on the boulevard, also known as West Adams, is being rebuilt. One of the nation’s largest real estate firms, LA’s CIM Group, is testing the notion that a single developer can turn around a chronically underfunded inner-city neighborhood, block by block, in the tight, 10-year time frame of a real estate investment fund.