Marlton Square is a one-block, (future medical facility), retail and residential portion of Marlton Ave, located in the Baldwin Village neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, California. The site was once the center of a long running controversy involving the developer Capital Vision Equities, the Los Angeles City Redevelopment Agency, and the former tenants of Marlton Square. It is bordered by Martin Luther King Jr Blvd on the north, Marlton Ave on the east, Santa Rosalia Dr on the south, Angeles Vista on the southeast, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Dwy on the southwest and Buckingham Road on the west. Across from the future medical facility is the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza shopping mall.
Marlton Square was created in the early 1950's and was then known as Santa Barbera Plaza due do the fact it was on Santa Barbara Avenue before it was changed to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
In 2003, local developers broke ground in the first phase of the 22-acre (89,000 m2) Marlton Square redevelopment project. This phase involved constructing the Buckingham Place Senior Retirement Community project, a 180-unit apartment complex, that is adjacent to the Baldwin Villa Plaza senior housing complex and shopping mall. The project was scheduled to be completed in spring of 2004. Several million dollars of public and private funding have been awarded to the project. Although the redevelopment project began with concerns of political favoritism, it was billed as "the catalytic project for the Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw communities", and a lynchpin development project for the entire area.
While initially promising, financial difficulties and other problems quickly beset the project. Capital Vision Equities' first check to the city bounced in 2001 and the testimony of whistle-blowers lead to an audit by the Ethics Commission early on in the project. Ultimately these problems overwhelmed the developer, and amid complaints of mismanagement the redevelopment of Marlton Square has stalled in bankruptcy. Several other agencies have been involved with the development project, including Keyshawn Capital Development, which is owned and ran by former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson. The old retail stores were demolished on May 2011 to make way for future development.
It is currently building a new state-of-the art 100,000 sq ft Kaiser Permanente medical facility office building with a two-mile walking path and outdoor plaza. It is slated for completion in early 2017. New restaurants, retail stores and a new shopping center complex are also currently being planned to be built in the future by private developers.
The under construction Martin Luther King Jr. station will provide access to the new Kaiser Permanente medical facility, the Crenshaw Medical Arts Centre office clinic building and the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza via the Metro Crenshaw/LAX Line.
By the end of 2009 Buckingham Place was largely finished but had remained unopened due to bankruptcy. Much of the retail space in Marlton Square has been empty for years and has fallen into disrepair. In 2008 there were no visible signs of redevelopment for that project of the retail space. However, in 2012 Buckingham Place housing complex officially opened.
- In 2010, Leimert Park Beat: The Soul of Los Angeles partnered with Intersections South LA Report and Spot.us to create the definitive report on the Marlton Square/Santa Barbara Plaza fiasco.
- McGreevy, Patrick; Shuster, Beth (November 15, 2002). "$123-Million Crenshaw Project Goes to Council". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
- Jennings, Angel (October 20, 2015). "Long-stalled Marlton Square project makes a move forward". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 September 2016.