Land Sale Restarts Anaheim Project

Times Staff Writer

A new set of developers has taken over the long-stalled Anaheim GardenWalk, a key component to the revitalization of the city’s resort district.

The proposed 19-acre retail, entertainment and hotel complex, first pitched about 10 years ago, today is a fenced lot.

The new property owners, Pacific Coast Capital Partners, promise to begin construction by the end of the year, with the first phase of retail businesses opening by June 2007.

GardenWalk would be one of the largest retail-entertainment projects in Anaheim. Developers plan three upscale hotels, shops and an array of restaurants on Katella Avenue, within walking distance of Disneyland and the renovated Anaheim Convention Center to the west.

Mayor Curt Pringle said GardenWalk would give Anaheim an economic boost, as did Downtown Disney, a retail and restaurant complex alongside Disneyland.


“It really does hit the mark,” Pringle said. “Downtown Disney proved that it’s important to keep people local for restaurant and shopping needs. As a city, we’re certainly trying to capture more of those revenues.”

Since 1996, more than $6 billion in public and private funds has been invested in the Anaheim resort district, once known for its campy, dated hotels lining Harbor Boulevard. Development slowed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack and is now recovering.

GardenWalk developers said they would probably scrap the plans for an aquarium, but they foresaw no other major changes to the 390,000-square-foot project. It will be anchored by hotels offering about 1,100 total guest rooms, and will include a six-level parking structure to accommodate 2,000 vehicles.

The GardenWalk site is across the street from where Disney may develop a third theme park, at the southeast corner of Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue, diagonally across from California Adventure.

“The project has a good layout. The retail concourse lines up with Disney’s third [park],” said Bill Stone of San Diego-based Excel Realty Holdings, a minority partner in the development. “We want to build a place where visitors of Disneyland are going to want to spend a half a day [away] from the resort.”

The project is being led by Pacific Coast Capital Partners, which bought the property from San Diego-based Price Legacy Corp. 10 days ago for $30 million. Some of the investors from Excel came from the ranks of Price Legacy.

Price Legacy invested heavily in the project, acquiring land and knocking down buildings, including a structure once known as Melodyland, a musical theater converted into a mega-church. About 18 months ago, work stopped, leaving a fence surrounding cleared land.