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Southwest Mobile Storage - Best Mobile Storage & Office Containers In West Adams, CA

Southwest Mobile Storage is a family-owned shipping container business founded in 1995. Our strength for more than 25 years comes from the specialized knowledge and passion of our people, along with serving over 24,000 commercial, construction and residential customers. Our facility and expertise in maintaining, manufacturing, and delivering corrugated steel containers is unrivaled in the industry.

While the rental side of our business is regional with branches throughout the Southwest, our container sales and modification operations are nationwide and becoming global. West Adams, CA offers a wide selection of portable offices and mobile storage containers you can rent, buy or modify.

Our experts in container rental, sales and customization are committed to providing you the highest quality and best experience from service to delivery - our reputation depends on it.

Whether your need is for storage, office space, moving, multi-purpose or custom use, we've got your back. Here's how:

Storage Containers West Adams, CA



We bring your storage container to you for convenient, easy access at your home, business or jobsite. Plus, you'll get more choice in storage space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of a pod or add on building, saving money and energy.


Not enough room to keep a storage container at your business, home or construction site? No problem - we can store it for you. Plus, you get 70% more space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of public storage units.


Need a permanent storage solution for your business, residence or construction? We sell new and used shipping containers in many sizes with a variety of add-ons. Or customize a container to your specific storage needs with our certified fabrication experts.


Take your time packing with our moving containers. We'll deliver to your business or home and pick it up whenever you're ready to move. So, you don't have to stress about moving or making multiple trips in one day, like if you rented a moving truck.


Our moving container solutions ensure the long-distance move of your home or business is highly efficient and affordable throughout the southwest. In fact, we usually cost 20%-40% less than full-service movers.


We understand move-in and move-out dates might be different. We can store your moving container at our highly secure facilities until you're ready to move to your new home or business location, and you can conveniently access it at any time.


Whether you need a workspace, conference room, or other office requirement, our ground-mounted mobile offices meet any and all of your business needs. Plus, it's faster and easier than building additions.


If you need your shipping container to serve multiple uses, such as office-storage combos, breakrooms and even utilities, we've got you covered. We'll modify a custom container to fit your business needs and bring your business to the next level


We'll create a custom container to fit your unique needs anywhere in the US. With our container modification expertise, we make any idea a reality. From pop-up stores to multi-story structures, our unrivaled facilities and fabrication experts do it all.

You'll get your own dedicated storage and container expert to serve as your one point of contact for easy, convenient service you can trust.
With our wide selection of intermodal containers for sale and rent, you'll find exactly what you need, from size, to type and condition.
We maintain our rental fleet to the highest standard - our integrity depends on it.
Our certified, experienced Conex container modification experts have more than 500 years combined experience modifying ISO containers.
All of our containers come with high security dual-locking system for no additional charge, so you can rest assured your stored items stay safe and that you don't have to pay extra for it.
At our unrivaled 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility, ensuring your custom shipping container is made exactly to your specifications.
With our level of service, quality and expertise, you won't find a better value anywhere else.
Our portable offices include lighting and electrical outlets, internet hookups, HVAC and were crafted by our in-house steel container fabrication experts for top-quality construction.

Premium Quality - High Security

With Southwest Mobile Storage, you get much more than a POD or typical Conex box. You also get high security, unparalleled service and unmatched container modification expertise and facilities. No other company offers that much.

Shipping containers and storage containers come in a range of sizes. The most common external lengths are 20ft and 40ft with a width of 8ft. ISO Containers are typically 8ft 6in tall, but high cube containers are 9ft 6in tall. We also have steel containers in a variety of sizes from 10ft long to 45ft long to rent or buy, and we can modify shipping containers into any size you want.

 Rent Storage Containers West Adams, CA

SMS Mobile Storage Containers have these high quality features:

1/8" thick steel plate bottom side rails
High strength steel supporting cross members
1 1/8" thick hardwood floor with galvanized self-tapping screws
16-gauge corrugated steel walls
16-gauge roof
270-degree swing cargo door(s)
High security dual-locking system*
Spot-grinded, primed & repainted with a beige high-grade water reducible alkyd direct-to-metal enamel*
* Comes standard on all rental units

SMS portable workspace containers have these structural features:

High security window bars, lever & deadbolt set with lock box
Studs & R-19 Insulation covered with wood paneling
1 1/8" marine board floor is covered with a durable single part gray epoxy coating
Dual pane low-E horizontal sliding windows with screens and miniblinds
18 Gauge steel polystyrene core 3-hour fire rated personnel door
All of our workspaces are manufactured in-house and arrive new or restored to factory specifications
Exterior load center operating on 100 Amp single phase 230 Volt power
Light switch, receptacles and 4' light fixtures; all wiring is Romex 12/2
CAT-6 voice and data lines with electrical junction box
HVAC units ranging from 1 ton to 2 ton on rentals; ability to customize up to 10 tons of cooling

Having flexible storage containers options is important, but security is crucial to protect your peace of mind and your possessions.

At Southwest Mobile Storage, we don't believe in leaving things to chance. We want you to rest easy knowing your inventory, documents, tools, equipment and other items are safe 24/7. That is why we equip SMS high-security slide bolt locking systems and lockboxes on our entire fleet of rental freight containers.


High-security slide-bolt locking system and extra-long lock box, giving you twice the security and peace of mind.
No holes to ensure your rental shipping container is wind and water-tight.
No rust for your safety.
14-gauge corrugated steel for strength and reinforcement.

Contact us to speak with a helpful, friendly representative to better understand our full range of capabilities. We are happy to answer any questions you have, go over pricing and set up a time and place to deliver your Conex box. Our quotes are 100% free and you are under no obligation to pay for your consultation.


When you own a business or manage one, it's crucial to have efficient, affordable ways to store inventory and supplies, whether it's to grow your business or adapt to changes in the market, like the many caused by the pandemic.

Renting storage containers to keep at your business eliminates the cost and hassles of sending your staff to offsite storage facilities. Steel containers with roll up doors make storing and retrieving items faster and easier. Auto repair shops and other businesses that need easy access throughout the workday to secure storage for tools, parts, equipment or supplies find renting shipping containers to be the best solution for their business storage needs. Southwest Mobile Storage has your back.

 Storage Containers For Rent West Adams, CA

Renting portable offices gives your business more workspace, breakrooms, pop up stores, security booths and more, without the cost and red tape associated with constructing building additions. Plus, a steel storage container fits neatly into one parking space and provides much stronger security than Pods and way more convenience than self-storage units.

If you have a specific need, we can modify shipping containers to build whatever you need to grow your business. Whether it's a portable workspace to run your business, like a pop-up container bar, or a durable facility for scientific research, like a container laboratory, or even a container gym, our unrivaled fabrication facility and modification experts got you covered. Our full-time, in-house staff of certified welders, engineers, electricians, carpenters and painters have over 500 years combined experience modifying thousands of container projects for just about any business use you can imagine.


Offsite storage alternatives cause a mess of hassles and headaches. Expanding office space and storage capacity at your location saves time, money and hassle of making multiple trips offsite.
We offer more choice in security, size and features in steel Conex boxes or ISO shipping containers than a public storage unit or Pod for less cost and far greater service.
We offer flexible, month-to-month rental agreements and prorate by the day after your first 28-day billing cycle.
With us, you get a dedicated account manager you can rely on, so you can focus on running your business than waste time with a different person every time you call that doesn't know or care as much.
While other companies may have some staff for modifying containers, most outsource the work, so you don't know who is actually doing the modifications or how much they're marking up the price.
 Mobile Storage Containers West Adams, CA
When you modify a shipping container for your business, you won't have to worry about expensive, lengthy and complicated construction.
We have modified thousands of containers nationwide and internationally for more than 25 years for NASA, US Navy, GCP Applied Technologies, Helix and Sundt to name a few. And rent containers to Amazon, Walmart and many of other nationally recognized brands.
Our extensive staff makes it possible to custom build multiple projects simultaneously and our 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility prevents contaminants from interfering with fabrication, which delivers better quality and precision.


With an extensive in-house staff and 90,000 sq ft container modification facility, we're able to deliver consistently high quality and work on multiple projects simultaneously for a fast turnaround.

Other companies don't have the facility, staff or resources to modify shipping containers and will outsource the work to various shops who may not have the special experience or tools needed to modify the right way.

You can rest assured knowing your custom container is safe in our hands. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications through every step of the process.

Renting a moving container from us makes your move much less stressful because you won't have to rush to pack your whole house into a moving truck in one day. Instead, you can take your time packing over the course of a month.

Our ISO shipping containers are weatherproof and come with vault-like security, so you don't have to worry about theft or damage to your belongings.

You won't get that level of security from U-Haul or other moving truck companies.

Renting a storage container at your home keeps your belongings close and gives you convenient 24/7 access, so you're always able to retrieve the contents of your container when you need to.

We know move in and move out dates don't always line up. We can store your packed rental container at our secure facility until your new home is ready.

With our mobile storage containers for rent in West Adams, CA, you can save up to 40% when compared to full-service long-distance movers, while gaining more flexibility in your schedule.


We know your needs may change suddenly. With our extensive inventory and variety of sizes of portable offices and shipping containers to rent, buy or modify in West Adams, CA, we provide fast service and the best value possible so it's easy for you to get whatever you need when you need it.

Renting storage containers and portable offices from us gives you more flexibility when it comes to your schedule and options. If you don't have enough space at your current location or simply would prefer offsite storage, you can keep your rental storage and office containers at your location or ours - whichever is most convenient for you. You also get more options to choose from when it comes to size and features, like portable offices with divided rooms for private meetings or office/storage combos for storage and office space in one container. All while costing a fraction of the price of a pod or self-storage facility.

You can also buy new or used freight containers from us and choose from a variety of add-ons, including lights, electricity, doors and windows. Or fully customize a shipping container to save time, money and energy by skipping the expensive, lengthy process of constructing building additions. We can modify a Conex box into whatever you can imagine for any use you need, from construction tool cribs to office buildings, monitoring stations, mobile communication towers and much more. The possibilities are endless.


You'll never face hidden fees or surprises with us. We give you transparent billing up front at the best prices.

With us, you get a reliable, dedicated point of contact, who keeps you updated every step of the way. You can rest assured knowing you'll always get what you need, when you need it.

No other company has the breadth and depth of staff and experience that we do when it comes to modifying shipping containers. Our certified welders, engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters have more than 500 years of combined experience in fabricating custom steel containers.

We prorate your rent by the day after the first 28-day billing cycle, so you don't have to pay for a full month when you only have your mobile containers and offices for a few days.

While other companies may be able to do small container modifications, most don't have an in-house fabrication staff or 90,000 sq ft fabrication facility like we do. As a result, they outsource the work on your custom container, so you don't know who's actually building it.

Rest assured knowing your modified shipping container will be built to the highest quality standards. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors check every step of the fabrication process to ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications.


Whether you're in need of a storage container for your commercial business, a portable office for your construction site, or a moving container for your home, our process is simple and straightforward.

Choose Your Container

Choose the mobile storage solution that works best for your needs. In this step, you will let us know the number of containers you need, their sizes and what types of doors to equip.

Choose Your Options

Let us know if you would like to add any of our rental options, like a folding table or shelving.

Choose Your Security

Choose from padlocks, puck locks and other enhanced security options. All of our storage containers come standard with dual-locking, vault-like security.

Choose Your Delivery Timeframe

You can expect standard delivery within 3-5 days of your order. If you need expedited delivery, we will do everything in our power to accommodate your needs.

Pick-Up Planning

Do you need to keep your shipping container at our location? Prefer to have our team deliver your packed container to a location of your choice? Let us know, and we'll be by your side to work out the logistics.




Let our team know where we should deliver your mobile storage container for rent in West Adams, CA. Be sure to let us know if there are any special conditions that might prevent our drivers from entering your chosen destination. Before you schedule your delivery, let us know which direction you would like the doors of your container to face.



Our drivers can deliver your storage container Monday-Friday, between the hours of 6AM and 2PM local time. Our two-hour delivery window is the most precise in the industry. If you desire another delivery time outside of our standard delivery options, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. As a courtesy, our driver will call you at least 30 minutes before they arrive at your drop-off destination.



Before we deliver your Conex box, prepare your delivery area by ensuring that there are no low overhangs, arches, wires, trees or any other obstacles that could interfere with your delivery. It's a good idea to mark the space where you would like your steel container placed.



When our driver arrives, they will back our truck into the space where you would like your shipping container placed. Once we arrive, we will ensure that your container is delivered safely and securely. If placed on asphalt or pavement, we will use wood dunnage pads to make sure your ground surface is protected and the container is level.


Check out our FAQ page or reach out to our helpful customer service team today @

Latest News in West Adams, CA

The Six Best Tacos in West Adams

L.A. TACO is embarking on its biggest mission yet: to create a reliable taco and food guide for every neighborhood in Los Angeles! Along the way, we will also be releasing brief histories of each neighborhood to understand L.A. a little more and why each and every neighborhood makes our fine city unique. Check out the rest of our history and food guides on our neighborhood page. With the arrival of big tech in neighboring Culver...

L.A. TACO is embarking on its biggest mission yet: to create a reliable taco and food guide for every neighborhood in Los Angeles! Along the way, we will also be releasing brief histories of each neighborhood to understand L.A. a little more and why each and every neighborhood makes our fine city unique. Check out the rest of our history and food guides on our neighborhood page.

With the arrival of big tech in neighboring Culver City, West Adams has gone from a small, forgotten, and overlooked community right next to the ten freeway to a destination for young food-obsessed residents and developers alike. While the neighborhood is changing for better or worse, its tacos are holding firm.

Ten years ago, the streets at night were desolate and uninviting. Today, you might need a reservation at some of the new restaurants on West Adams. You can find a brewery hosting an all-vegan pop-up market on Friday nights on Jefferson Boulevard. And all this new growth has also attracted new taco stands to the area. And while most of these newcomers are tech-driven, there's a certain irony to be appreciated in learning that some of these taqueros are still thriving without any social media presence.

Here are the top six tacos that are holding it down in this changing neighborhood.

Considering the recent influx of people and businesses to West Adams, you could argue that Taquería Los Anaya was ahead of its time. The Anaya brothers opened the restaurant over ten years ago, proving serving high-quality food doesn't have to come at a high neighborhood cost. A trio of tacos can come with juicy and seasoned chicken topped with a savory, sweet mole with a bright, lively red salsa. Carne asada is prepared from thick angus steak. And a tender beef Barbacoa can be served with its own salsa and unique garnish. Taquería Los Anaya is one of those rare gems where good tacos are only the introduction to an incredible menu.

4651 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 37 - “Adams/West (westbound)” or "Adams/Buckingham (eastbound)."

While many self-proclaimed taco-eating experts will tell you what a taco should be, Bee Taqueria is here to show you how radically different and still chingón a taco can be. It's an exhibition of the art of the taco as a canvas for flavors, colors, and imagination. This vibrant and colorful taquería serves brilliant culinary splendors on a tortilla and is also home to one of only two famous taco omakases globally. These tacos are an experience that challenges the perception of the tortilla as just a thin, flat, circular vehicle used to eat food. From a brilliant vegan beet taco to a cochinito slow braised pork, these tacos are here to make an impression on your taco preconceptions.

5754 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 37 - “Adams/Thurman” or Bus Lines 38, 105 or 217 - "Fairfax/Adams."

Betos Tacos is a taco truck whose paint job is reminiscent of a radio flyer wagon. It parks at an old public scale used to weigh trucks and cargo, but the load they carry are great-tasting meats on good tortillas during the week. While they offer a variety of delicious proteins like asada, pastor, lengua, and chorizo on weeknights, the soft tacos estilo Guadalajara they serve on the weekends really stand out. Their tacos al vapor served with steamed tortillas and a mix of steamed meats from the cow head, offering a flavorful and textural experience. The gentle taco is a unique find hidden in the backroads of this neighborhood. They're open late at night most nights.

5230 West Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 38 - “Jefferson/Alsace” or Metro E Line and Bus Line 212 - "Expo/La Brea Station."

With the growth of West Adams Boulevard, about half a dozen new taco pop-ups have also moved into the neighborhood in the last several years. But the OGs of West Adams are Tacos El Primo. It's a complete taco stand that starts with an Al pastor Trompo, a pan full of stewing meats, crisp aguas frescas, and a salsa bar as vibrant and spicy as it is tantalizing. The gentlemen from Aguascalientes who man this stand have built a rapport with this community over the last twenty-plus years. It's that rapport that makes this taco experience complete. They've had to move from their original spot due to new construction, so if you don't find them at the address below, they might be nearby. Always drive around a few blocks and they’ll be around. Their only sign is the banter between them and their neighborhood customers.

5004 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 37 or 212 - “Adams/La Brea.”

Weekend mornings are reserved for specialty tacos like Tony's Carnitas in this neighborhood. This carnitas may not be known across the county, but Carnitas Tony is a local legend. If you want to try some of these juicy carnitas, you'll have to get there early, they tend to sell out quickly, and that's without having a social media presence. Only the power of community and good tacos propel whispers about their golden pork through local ears.

2601 Ridgley Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90016. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 37 - “Adams/Hauser.”

We will take the jerk-spiced grilled plantain tacos with habanero salsa that Alta Adams offers as an appetizer on their menu as a gesture of respect and acknowledgment to the neighborhood’s Black and Latino working-class roots. They are plant-based and hit the spot to warm your insides before the restaurant’s celebrated dishes, like chef Keith Corbin’s oxtails with rice, and shrimp and grits, arrive at your table. The grilled plantain is sweet, tender, lightly charred, and extra satisfying if you love your food to be a little sweet and spicy. 5359 W. Adams Boulevard. Los Angeles, CA. 90016. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 37 - “Adams/Dunsmuir.” - Javier Cabral

In Los Angeles, One of the City’s Oldest Neighborhoods Continues to Evolve

Along West Adams Boulevard between South La Brea Avenue and Fairfax in the central part of Los Angeles, you'll find bustling new businesses like ...

Along West Adams Boulevard between South La Brea Avenue and Fairfax in the central part of Los Angeles, you'll find bustling new businesses like The Alsace Hotel, a warm, design-focused 48-key property with food and drinks by Danny Elmaleh (also behind nearby favorites Mizlala and Johnny's). Hip coffee shops like Highly Likely have cropped up, once again breathing life into one of the city's most diverse and historic neighborhoods, where personalities including Marvin Gaye and Johnnie Cochran once lived. Here's how to make a day of it.

All listings featured in this story are independently selected by our editors. However, when you book something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Slice of life

In 2015, the creators of long-standing indie hip-hop label Delicious Vinyl, which birthed artists like Tone Lōc, The Pharcyde, and Young MC, minted a pizza parlor that has become a central hub for West Adams residents and its music community. In pre-pandemic times, Delicious Pizza hosted epic block parties with DJ sets and pop-up shops. The live events have yet to come back in full swing, but the pizza is still great, especially the Hawaiian, which will silence any purist arguing that fruit doesn't belong on a pie.

Tasting notes

Jaela Salala brings her own flair to Adams Wine Shop, focusing on approachably priced bottles produced by Black and female winemakers. Sit outdoors and enjoy a flight, or buy a bottle to take next door to Alta Adams, the Southern restaurant led by chef Keith Corbin. Or, local tip: Enjoy a bottle of fizzy Lambrusco with your slice of Delicious pizza.

Sit and savor

Chef Avner Levi and his team at Cento make regionally inspired Italian pastas with a California twist. For dinner, book a table on the outdoor patio among the olive trees and lavender, or go for a counter seat at the open kitchen and watch the team plate up stunning dishes like the crimson beet spaghetti with poppy seeds, brown butter, and ricotta or the decadent chicken-liver crostini.

This article appeared in the April 2022 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.

10 Reasons Why You Need to Visit This Historic, Design-Driven Los Angeles Neighborhood

West Adams, a neighborhood situated in South Los Angeles, has been a hub for Black artists and creators since the 1940s. And though it undoubtedly has always held historical significance, the area formerly known as Sugar Hill has recently seen a surge of development and attention by creative types who’ve filled the storefronts and restaurants with fresh energy and great design. Artists like ...

West Adams, a neighborhood situated in South Los Angeles, has been a hub for Black artists and creators since the 1940s. And though it undoubtedly has always held historical significance, the area formerly known as Sugar Hill has recently seen a surge of development and attention by creative types who’ve filled the storefronts and restaurants with fresh energy and great design. Artists like Mara Brock Akil have chosen West Adams to center their work, and rising star chefs like Keith Corbin of Alta Adams are pushing the West Coast culinary narrative forward while holding true to its soulful roots. Here are some of our favorite businesses in the neighborhood celebrating the area’s dynamic history and promising future.

1. Alsace LA Hotel

When this 48-room boutique hotel on West Adams Boulevard opened in 2021, all hopes of this refreshed design district staying under the radar were dashed. Decked in creamy upholstery and warm terracotta accessories, it’s an oasis of calm in a vibrant community. Plans for an onsite restaurant have been delayed, but there’s plenty of food and drink (like a new outpost of Tartine, just a few blocks west) within walking distance.

2. Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Meditation Garden

Three days a week between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., visitors are allowed to walk the gardens and labyrinth at the headquarters for the Movement of Spiritual and Inner Awareness. Amble through the grounds, or sit quietly by the fountain at this unexpected retreat in the center of L.A.’s urban sprawl. $6, reservations required;

3. Ray Charles Foundation Memorial Library

A Wine Tasting Trip through Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California

Tour stunning wineries, cutting-edge stays, and gastronomic superstars in the West's hottest new wine region.

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On nearby Washington Boulevard, Ray Charles’ former recording studio and office are West Adams-adjacent, but still a part of the neighborhood’s heartbeat. Fans of the legendary recording artist can stroll past his gold records and iconic outfits. By appointment only; please note that as of March 2023 the museum is temporarily closed;

4. Free Bike Tour

On the first Sunday of the month at 11 a.m., adopt-a-bike founder and Realtor Jose Prats leads curious cyclists on a free tour of the neighborhood, which includes a brief history of the area. (And maybe a few new listings?) Check out @westadamsbiketour on Instagram.

5. Band of Vices Gallery

A self-described “art and culture company” committed to providing a platform to marginalized creative communities, these gallery spaces showcase a curated exhibition program. Check out the events calendar for an updated list of happenings.


This Mediterranean grill, serving delicious, modern Moroccan/Israeli food, cranks out pillow-soft pita, spit-roasted chicken, kebabs, and Jerusalem salad in three locations across L.A.—but the West Adams outpost was the first. Order a side of crispy broccoli with za’atar and capers and then think about nothing else for days.

7. Delicious Pizza by Delicious Vinyl

The iconic independent record label founded in the late ’80s that introduced the world to Tone Loc, Young MC, and The Pharcyde has been in business for a whopping 30 years. Back in 2015, the founders opened Delicious Pizza as a hub for community activities and events—one that also happened to deliver on the promise of its name. If you visit West Adams and love it, give proper credit to the Delicious team for helping to put it back on the map.

8. Kneeland Co.

Shop owner and textile expert Joanna Williams is a purveyor of exquisite handmade goods she’s gathered during her global travels. None of it’s cheap, but most of what she offers is one-of-a-kind and worth the splurge. By appointment;

9. The Global Trunk

A decade ago, a visit to Guatemala inspired owner Josetta Sbeglia and her niece, Cathy Benavides, to open a cheery storefront for sustainable, fair trade, responsible home goods, and textiles showcasing the handiwork of the community. In 2022, their company became a Certified B Corporation, meeting the highest standards of environmental and social impact.

10. Alta Adams & Adams Wine Shop

Chefs Corbin and Daniel Patterson promise an inclusive setting, comforting food, great cocktails, and a lively atmosphere at their restaurant, Alta Adams, and they deliver on all fronts. Their interpretation of soul food, a collision of West African flavors and California cuisine, is as satisfying as it gets. Next door, the Adams Wine Shop focuses on bottles produced by women and BIPOC creators from around the world.

Read the Current Issue Here!

Historically Black West Adams is transforming, residents feel left out

Photo by Stella Kalinina for Bloomberg Businessweek.Driving down West Adams Boulevard just past Culver City, you can see the typical signs of a neighborhood in transition. There are old liquor stores, empty lots, and burn scars from the 1992 LA Riots. But look closer, and you’ll find a new boutique hotel, a pasta bar, and even some sleek apartment buildings under construction.Each newly developed proper...

Photo by Stella Kalinina for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Driving down West Adams Boulevard just past Culver City, you can see the typical signs of a neighborhood in transition. There are old liquor stores, empty lots, and burn scars from the 1992 LA Riots. But look closer, and you’ll find a new boutique hotel, a pasta bar, and even some sleek apartment buildings under construction.

Each newly developed property is owned by the CIM Group. The real estate company is working on at least 40 properties in the neighborhood as it looks to single-handedly redevelop West Adams into a trendy destination. But some long-term residents of the historically Black and Latino neighborhood feel like they don’t fit into CIM’s vision.

The man behind the CIM Group is Shaul Kuba and the company is worth some $30 billion. His vision is to not only build new developments, but design how neighborhoods should feel and look. All that’s according to Bloomberg Businessweek investigative reporter Peter Waldman.

“He fancies himself as a curator as much as a developer. He chooses and remodels and refurbishes and designs in ways that are very creative and that tend to attract a lot of young, creative types with expendable income, who can pay [thousands] per month for apartments in edgy places, like West Adams,” he tells KCRW.

Waldman explains that more than half of the new developments are built using adaptive reuse architecture techniques — where existing buildings are repurposed for new projects. But he notes that there are long-time residents who are experiencing the after-effects of the new construction.

That includes Abdul Jamal Sheriff, who owns Holiday Liquor on West Adams Boulevard. Waldman says Sheriff has been offered millions of dollars in exchange for his property, but he’s rejected the offers each time.

Now, Sheriff alleges Kuba has gotten LA City Attorney Mike Feuer’s office to harass him over allowing drug dealing and gang activity on the premises. Feuer issued a nuisance abatement injunction that requires Sheriff to set up video equipment, hire security guards, and prohibit the sale of single-serve alcoholic beverages. Kuba denies the allegations.

“Just like Shaul Kuba, he isn't giving up. He's appealing the judicial injunction against Holiday Liquor, and he's also pursuing his own plans to develop a mixed-use, very CIM-style apartment retail complex right there on West Adams. So we'll see whether he can build a rival real estate empire to CIM Group right there in the middle of West Adams.”



Madeleine Brand

Four Hours: Art, culture and peace abound on this tour of West Adams

West Adams may not be an Instagrammable L.A. hot spot by most influencers’ standards — and that’s exactly why it’s so charming. What it lacks in impermanent trendiness it makes up for with an impressive architectural and artistic pedigree as well as historical roots. Even its influx of destination restaurants has substance. Despite being one of the most rapidly changing areas in South L.A. — ...

West Adams may not be an Instagrammable L.A. hot spot by most influencers’ standards — and that’s exactly why it’s so charming. What it lacks in impermanent trendiness it makes up for with an impressive architectural and artistic pedigree as well as historical roots. Even its influx of destination restaurants has substance. Despite being one of the most rapidly changing areas in South L.A. — gentrification and affordable housing are charged issues here — West Adams and its surrounding areas maintain an authenticity that feels tangible.

An abundance of street art adds to the neighborhood’s color. The scent of brothy birria and freshly baked birote intermingle with smoky barbecue. Fliers promoting popular community events in English and Spanish get tacked to telephone poles. The allure of West Adams lies just below the surface. There, you’ll find provocative art, culture, soul food and even the promise of spiritual enlightenment.

One tip before you go: West Adams’ spread-out streets aren’t exactly famous for their walkability. The quickest way to get around is inevitably by car. A bike works too, as long as you don’t mind the lack of dedicated bike lanes. But, if you welcome a challenge, exploring by foot is doable and arguably more interesting. Let’s go:

Noon: Hidden on the very west end of West Adams Boulevard lies the proverbial hidden gem: Just Tantau, 5740 W. Adams Blvd., a jewelry and art shop with pieces ranging among the elegant, kitschy and eco-conscious. Owner Carol Tantau and her charcoal-colored cat Ricky are Venice transplants who’ve found a kinship with the area. On Sundays, the shop hosts a walk-in jewelry repair workshop for $15 that handles everything except silver soldering.

12:15 p.m. Go east until you hit Alta Adams at 5359 W. Adams Blvd., a buzzworthy soul food restaurant frequented by locals and celebrities alike. From Alta’s newish brunch menu, order the collard green and shaved veg salad ($13) and cornmeal pancakes ($14) by chef Keith Corbin. Equally enjoyable? The restaurant’s weekend playlist by Alta manager Justin Berry, which includes MF Doom, Slum Village and OutKast.

Step into the adjoining Adams Coffee Shop and ask for an oat milk latte to go, made strong with Coffee Manufactory espresso.

1:30 p.m. Continue to make your way to Runway Boutique at 4755 W. Adams Blvd., where community-conscious owner Fatima Dodson has curated an impressive collection of vintage, contemporary and handmade pieces to browse. Dodson is new to the area but quickly found her place as a regular participant in community events like the West Adams Family Function and host of Second Saturdays on Adams.

2 p.m. Harness the last of your caffeine buzz as you continue trekking east along boulevard. Let the youthful skateboarders kick-flipping in front of Lotties skate shop energize you. As one of the few shops of its kind in the area, it’s become a hub and hangout for the local skate scene and appreciators alike. Once you hit 6th Avenue, turn left and lose yourself in the endless row of Craftsman houses, among other styles, until you hit Washington Boulevard.

2:30 p.m. On Washington, camouflaged amid the warehouses and depots of Arlington Heights, lies the Underground Museum at 3508 W. Washington Blvd. — an alternative exhibition space with a focus on black art. Its bookstore alone is worth the detour: Monitors stream artist Khalil Joseph’s arty cultural broadcast “BLKNWS,” which reimagines mainstream journalism from a black perspective. The shelves are stacked with unique tomes and treasures.

Once you walk into the actual exhibition space, you’re transported into another dimension. During my recent visit, the starkly minimal atmosphere set the tone for artist Roy DeCarava’s haunting photographs in “The Work of Art” — which was on display until June 30.

Before you leave, step into the museum’s serene outdoor space, dubbed the Purple Garden, where you can pay your respects to a Nipsey Hussle shrine adorned with crystals, candles and lavender sprigs; and admire sculptor Lianne Barnes’ mind-bending work, “Sanctum.” Browse countless photos of Purple Garden events on the museum’s social handles — from indie film screenings to inclusive yoga classes — and you’ll realize that it is, in fact, Instagrammable.

3:15 p.m. Take a swift walk back down 6th Avenue and turn left on the boulevard, where you’ll find yourself in the heart of Historic West Adams. Look for the behemoth Beaux Arts-style mansion that’s home to the Peace Awareness Labyrinth and Gardens at 3500 W. Adams Blvd. Now owned by the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, the architectural stunner still feels like a well-kept secret.

After giving you a free tour of the grounds (book in advance through — note the grounds are open to visitors from 12 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and select Sundays), your dulcet-toned docent will guide you to the main attraction: the sanctified labyrinth. You’ll be instructed to walk the windy path with a prayer or mantra. Even if new-age spiritualism isn’t your thing, — keep an open mind. It’s a good opportunity, if nothing else, to reconnect with yourself. After you’ve reached peak peace, or made yourself dizzy, recalibrate in the lush meditation gardens. It might be hard to believe that, yes, you are still in fact in the middle of hustling, bustling L.A. Before you leave the oasis behind, breathe in the smell of jasmine flowers one last time.


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