Bass Lo, 57, runs a custom clothing design and tailoring business on Market Street, in the heart of Inglewood's downtown area–a heart that is beating slowly, holding on for dear life.
Lo moved to Inglewood in 1990 from Liberia in West Africa. While he was born and raised in Liberia, he considers Inglewood home, and longs to see the life breathed back into his community.
"Right now, business is not great," Lo said. "In '93, '94, '95 it was good, but now it's very very down.
During the early 90s, Lo enjoyed a steady stream of business and never worried much about paying the rent at his original store location on La Brea. Now on Market Street, where he's been for three years, he says he'll go days without someone coming by to ask for his services.
"I don't know exactly why or what happened, but I know that I'm struggling now," Lo said. "It's just obvious to me that there aren't as many people around in this area where there should be people."
Lo's store, Top Diversified Fashions, is located in what should be, and was at one time, a bustling marketplace similar to Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade. Now he is surrounded by unoccupied storefronts with a small fraction of the foot traffic he used to see.
So for him, the idea of a brand new football stadium conjures up only positive thoughts, and dreams of business like the kind he enjoyed twenty years ago. "More people, more business," Lo said repeatedly at the mention of the stadium.
Asked if he was concerned about gentrification, Lo didn't appear to be concerned. Rather, the business owner said he would welcome anyone and any kind of business to the city with open arms – provided they're willing to work alongside him and his community.
"We need our local people here, our community here," Lo said, "[Other people] can come and fill some of these empty stores and do good things – we'd be happy to have them too – but we need our local people."
Traffic? Also not a problem for Lo. He goes right back to his mantra. "Traffic means people. More people, more business."
The potential for his rent to rise is just about the only thing that gives Lo pause. With new eyes on Inglewood and the real estate around the new stadium, there is bound to be some change in property values and in leasing rates. But Lo remains cautiously optimistic for now.
"I think there's going to be a lot of new faces in Inglewood, yes," Lo said. "But that's good for business I hope,"
On the other hand, he says, if rent skyrockets but business remains the same, that could spell bad news for himself and other local businesses that are hanging on by a thread.
"We have been struggling here for many years. So many years," Lo said. "Inglewood feels dead. Market Street is dead. We can't take more problems, so I hope it will be okay."
But, Lo says he has faith that the stadium will bring a diverse crowd of people with renewed interest in Inglewood. As the stadium plans go forward, Lo waits anxiously and hopefully for the return of the Inglewood he knows from his first years as a member of the community.
"We have a lot to offer here, we do. We just need to be supported and lifted up so people can see. The football team will do that for us. It will lift us up," Lo said.
And if anyone has anything bad to say about the NFL's impending arrival, he isn't afraid to tell them they are in the wrong.
"If anyone thinks this is a bad idea, there's something wrong with them," Lo said. "We need this stadium. Inglewood needs it. We are a beautiful city and soon everyone will see it and love it just like I do."