Francis Taylor, Asst. Editor/Publisher
The City of Inglewood has negotiated a community investment plan with the Los Angeles Clippers that, if approved by the City Council, will represent the largest package of local investments connected to the development of a sports arena in the state’s history.
After months of negotiations with the Mayor and the city’s executive team, The Clippers have committed to contribute $100 million – the bulk of which will be used to create a permanent fund dedicated to the development of affordable housing. The remainder will provide support for education, recreation, employment, and other community programs that will benefit residents as part of the Clippers plan to build an 18,500-seat arena and team headquarters on municipal land at Prairie Avenue and West Century Boulevard.
City Manager Artie Fields, who briefed the City Council at its regular meeting Tuesday, said the Clippers have agreed to provide up to $80 million in programs for the construction of affordable housing, and assistance for first-time homebuyers as well as renters.
The remaining $20 million would fund programs for Inglewood school children, working families and seniors, including millions of dollars for after-school activities, drop-out prevention, post-high school counseling and college scholarships for Inglewood high school graduates. The package also includes a $6 million contribution for renovations to the Inglewood public library and improvements to the community center, to better serve Inglewood teens.
“The Clippers organization will bring tremendous employment opportunities for our residents and continue to propel the economic revitalization for our city,” said Mayor James T. Butts. “But it was important for us to front-load this benefits package with assistance for affordable housing. We want the people who have put their faith in this community and who have put down roots in Inglewood be able to continue to reside here and reap the benefit of this renaissance.”
The proposed $100 million package includes:
- The creation of a $75 million new, permanent Affordable Housing Development Loan Fund that would be administered by a local housing nonprofit.
- $5.5 million in grants to help first-time buyers with down-payment assistance and other services to qualify for homeownership, as well as emergency financial and legal support over five years to prevent homelessness and Inglewood evictions.
- $12.75 million in youth and education funding for after-school activities, such as design and coding camps for Inglewood students and two high school drop-out prevention programs, post-secondary counseling and college scholarships for low-income Inglewood high school graduates.
- $6 million for physical improvements to the Inglewood Public Library, including improvements to the community center to better serve Inglewood youth.
- $500,000 to renovate public basketball courts in Inglewood and funding for senior programs, including computer literacy.
The arena and accompanying complex will be privately financed and generate an estimated $278 million in economic activity along with an estimated $190 million in tax revenue from 2020 through 2045.
The Los Angeles Clippers deserves special commendation for their commitment to the City of Inglewood!