The year it finally happens? – ORANGE COUNTY TRIBUNE
By Jim Tortolano
While 2021 has not been a spectacular year for development “arms in the ground” at Garden Grove, the year that has almost passed has sparked many long-awaited projects to begin construction in 2022.
That’s the word of Lisa Kim, the city’s director of community and economic development, who is also the city’s deputy director.
âWe’ve been busy,â she said in a recent town hall interview. âThere has been tremendous interest in development, both residential and commercial, and we don’t see it slowing down. “
While she concedes that the coronavirus pandemic may have delayed the process of realizing long-standing plans, “we are now seeing positive movement.”
Here is an inventory of the projects that should be in the news over the coming year.
- Willowick: This city-owned golf course is located in Santa Ana and has been the source of continued speculation and controversy for several years. This was complicated by the influence of the updated Surplus Land Act on the 102-acre site. âWe are currently in negotiations withâ¦ potential proponents,â said Kim, who includes developers with experience in commercial and residential development. âHopefully we will achieve some refinement of their proposals in the first quarter of 2022.
- Port hotels: Site C (east side, south of the Target department store) will include a 200-room Kimpton boutique operation and Le MÃ©ridien (400-room). âThey started building public works about a month ago,â Kim said. âWe expect this process to take about four to six months. After that, it should take around 30 months to complete the construction. Across the street (south of the Sheraton), a Nickelodeon-themed hotel is undergoing environmental review.
Downtown / Civic Center: The long-awaited Cottage Industries project, reusing and adapting older housing from Civic Center Drive to 9th Street, is back after years of delays. âThe developer has building permits and is currently working with Edison to meet the energy needs of the project, and is otherwise good to go. They have five tenants at some level of lease negotiations. Smoke Queen BBQ is expected among the Cottage Quarter’s premier stars on 9th Street, a fusion of Western smoking techniques with some Chinese flavors. This will be part of the Farm Block, which is scheduled to be built on the first of the year. On Historic Main Street, the three-story Smallwood Plaza mixed-use development is underway, with earthwork expected to begin soon.
- Downtown (Brookhurst / Chapman): The arrival of the Sprouts Farmers’ Market grocery store has sparked a surge in activity in the city’s main shopping area. In this Pavilion Plaza West, there is still an Ulta beauty store, a Mattress Firm and a Jersey Mike’s sandwich shop. Additionally, The Habit will be bringing its premium burgers to the area and several other stores – to be named later. Despite the move towards online shopping, âI don’t think physical stores are going to go away. They’re always in high demand, âsaid Kim.m Across the street at the Regal 16 cineplex, she’s not worried about the impact of video streaming and social distancing on long-term prospects. term of the cinemas, including the anchor point of the Promenade center. “If the latest Spider-Man movie release is any indicator” – it grossed $ 1 billion in its opening weekend – “I see it making a comeback.”
- West Grove: In the Valley View shopping corridor on the west side, the rebranded West Grove Center is heading for many changes. A drive-through Starbucks is under construction, as is the expanded movie theater. Bowling is back and – if the planning committee approves it – it will feature karaoke as part of the attraction. On the east side of Valley View, this site’s broker on Cerulean Avenue is “aggressively marketing this site for a restaurant.”
And for those who predicted that the project formerly known as the “Rusty Skeleton” would never be built, Kim said construction would be complete by the end of the first quarter for the 390 affordable units at Garden Brook Village.
But, as Apple’s Steve Jobs said: âOne more thing. Kim concluded the interview with a teaser. âThere are new dynamics on the horizon,â she said.
Following? Any further development wouldn’t just put Garden Grove on the map, it could mean we need a bigger map.