City News - Press Releases

Posted on: September 28, 2016

Anaheim City Council Accelerates Revitalization
of Beach Boulevard

beach sign.jpg

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2016) — Anaheim’s City Council on Tuesday took steps to accelerate the revitalization of 1.5 miles of Beach Boulevard in the city by clearing the way for new shopping, dining, homes and community gathering places in the heart of west Anaheim.

The Council approved the sale of land for a shopping center and the acquisition of an adjacent parcel for future development, while also adopting economic assistance measures to encourage private investment along Beach Boulevard.

The Beach Boulevard initiative comes in response to concerns by west Anaheim residents about blight and quality of life issues.

While an iconic highway, Beach Boulevard struggles with some motels and retail centers that have outlived their economic viability, resulting in a high level of police calls for prostitution, drugs and other issues.

To address those issues and spur revitalization of the area, on Tuesday, the Council voted to:

  • Sell 25 acres of city-owned land at Beach Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue for development as a neighborhood shopping center with major retailers, restaurants and community gathering places. Los Angeles-based Zelman Development Co. is acquiring the land for $16 million.
  • Acquire 13 acres of land and property along Beach south of Lincoln for future sale and development as housing with retail space. The city is paying $13 million to acquire the property from Los Angeles-based Evergreen Capital Assets LLC. The site now houses a motel, car wash and gas station.
  • Provide flexibility in fees and development rules to encourage preferred projects along Beach Boulevard.
  • Allow for the deferral or waiver of fees for preferred projects.

Westgate Site

The city’s sale of what is known as the Westgate site clears the way for the development of a shopping center on a long-vacant plot of land at Anaheim’s northern stretch of Beach.

The site, a former county of Orange landfill, was acquired by the city in 2001. Since then, the city has worked with the county to ready the site for development.

Zelman, a real estate investment and development company, plans to build a 250,000-square-foot shopping center with a Main Street-style paseo with outdoor dining, plazas and public art.

The project is set to include a giant, golden sun face once used at Disney California Adventure Park and donated to the city of Anaheim in 2010. The sun was originally used at the Sunshine Plaza entry to theme park.

The center could see construction in 2018 and a possible opening in 2019.

Americana Site

The city’s acquisition of 3.6 acres of land at Beach and Lincoln is intended to spur additional development.

The site now hosts the 44-room Americana Motel, used primarily for monthly sober living residents, the Beach-Lin Hand Car Wash and the Adonis Fuel Stop gas station.

The city plans to honor any existing leases before phasing out those uses and seeking to sell the site for housing with some retail and affordable units for working professionals such as teachers, firefighters and police who otherwise may not be able to afford to live in Anaheim.

Economic Assistance

To encourage additional projects along Beach, the City Council also approved an economic development package that provides flexibility for preferred projects identified by the city and the community.

Measures include:

  • Deferred developer fees that allow for payment after construction.
  • A waiver of developer fees for preferred, identified uses.
  • Flexible development standards that would allow projects to vary from setback and other rules where there is economic and community benefit.
  • Commercial rehabilitation loans for existing, desired businesses in the area.
  • An ombudsman to serve as a liaison for the developers interested in Beach.

New Development Blueprint

As the City Council took steps to revitalize Beach on Tuesday, work continues on a new development framework for the area.

What’s known as the Beach Boulevard Specific Plan is expected to bring new zoning and planning guidelines in 2017 that are designed to encourage new projects and redevelopment of underutilized motels and retail space.

For the past year, the city’s Planning Department has been working with the community to identify preferred uses to will address blight and quality of life issues along Beach.

For more on the city's Beach Initiative, check out a fact sheet on the program.

Click here for more about the Beach Boulevard Specific Plan. For more on Anaheim, click here.

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