Southern California -- this just in

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All it took to turn this shopping plaza into a dump was $45 million

April 28, 2008 |  9:01 am

Your_tax_dollars_helped_pay_for_this That's right, a 50-year-old shopping plaza that should have been the centerpiece of the Crenshaw District is Exhibit A of urban blight. What happened to the millions of federal and private dollars? Ted Rohrlich has the answer, and you're not going to like it.

Los Angeles leaders gambled on a check-bouncing, politically connected developer to shepherd the project. And after $15 million in government subsidies and more than $30 million in private investment, taxpayers -- and the community -- have lost.

"It's disgraceful," said Karen Ceasar, secretary for the neighborhood council at a recent meeting packed with angry residents. She accused elected officials of a "failure to care."

It started with high hopes by city officials and big promises by an iffy businessman, and ended with a neighborhood saddled with a weedy parking lot rimmed by a handful of dying businesses. It's a twisty tale, and Ted puts it into order. Full story here.

-- Veronique de Turenne

Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times