By Shirley Hawkins
Baldwin Hills in Los Angeles will soon celebrate a new movie studio. The Chicago-based 4S Bay Partners LLC (4S Bay) plans to construct Stocker Street Creative in the Crenshaw/Baldwin Hills corridor. The new multi-use film studio will feature 50,000 square feet of technology, entertainment, a business incubator, TV/film production space, 80,000 square feet of office space, and numerous restaurants in the 3700 block of Stocker Street. Located in Baldwin Hills, popularly known as the “Black Beverly Hills,” Stocker Street Creative will offer filmmaking and production primarily for emerging Black and brown artists. The Stocker Street Creative Project is part of a renaissance movement that includes the extensive renovation of the landmark Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, the creation of Destination Crenshaw, and the construction of the Metro Crenshaw/LAX light rail line station that will turn Baldwin Hills into a prime tourism spot. 4S Bay Partners LLC, located in Chicago, has already invested $100 million into the project. Stocker Street Creative aligns with 4S Bay’s social impact and community development mission to increase economic development in underserved and urban communities.
Other partners involved include Pantheon Business Consulting, Daughtrity Real Estate, Stewart Manhattan, Jenkins, Gales and Martinez, and Bastein and Associates. The partners will break ground on the project later this year, and construction will be completed sometime in 2024. “We partner with the community to create economic opportunities and amplify storytelling for and about marginalized communities,” said 4S Bay Partners LLC founder and managing partner Jessica Sarowitz. “We achieve our mission by deploying creative private capital investments.” The studio will serve as a cultural hub for small and independent creators, writers, and filmmakers and offer hiring, production support, training, and funding. It will also serve as a gathering place for the community at large. Stocker Street Creative also plans to forge significant partnerships with Hollywood studios. Community members will be able to use the facility to hold meetings, workshops, panel discussions, and numerous other events. There also will be a rooftop area where luncheons, banquets, and social events can be held. Multiple on-site restaurants will offer indoor and outdoor seating where filmmakers and creatives can share ideas and projects as they sample delicious food. The studio will also feature local artists by displaying their art and sculptures and spotlight other creatives and their projects.