Garden Grove approves $152-million civic center revamp

An artistic rendering of the revitalized Garden Grove Civic Center, expected to be completed by mid-2027.
An artistic rendering of the revitalized Garden Grove Civic Center, which is expected to be completed by mid-2027.
(Courtesy of the city of Garden Grove)

Garden Grove’s civic center is set to receive a multimillion-dollar facelift with plans for new police station, parking garage and park edging closer to breaking ground.

Hailed as a “historic” moment, the Garden Grove City Council unanimously approved the $152-million revamp during its March 26 meeting.

“I can’t wait to see a shovel in the ground and see this come to fruition,” Councilwoman Stephanie Klopfenstein said. “From the police station to a brand-new park, I know the community is excited. I’m excited.”


The groundbreaking is now slated for May 14 after council members approved a project agreement with Edgemoor, a Virginia-based developer, to work on the civic center site on the corner of Euclid Street and Acacia Parkway.

In November, council members also issued $140 million in lease revenue bonds to fund the majority of the project. The remaining costs will be covered by $12 million from the city’s civic center fund.

The cornerstone of the revitalization plan will be the new Garden Grove Police Department headquarters with an attached four-level parking garage, both of which will be built atop Community Center Park.

“The new police facility will be a landmark in our community of safety and security,” Garden Grove Police Chief Amir El-Farra told council members.

He called the existing police headquarters, which was built in 1972, “antiquated.”

The existing Garden Grove Police Department headquarters was built in 1972.
The existing Garden Grove Police Department headquarters was built in 1972. It is slated to be replaced with an all new facility by the middle of 2027.
(File Photo)

The revamp will displace the Community Center Park’s duck pond, which has become a haven for wild animals and unwanted pets in recent years.

But some residents see the duck pond — slated to be drained and removed — as an asset to the community’s identity and want to see the concept carried over.

“The duck pond is bringing us more beauty than we realize,” said Claire Bischoff, a Garden Grove resident. “I see it as a place of beauty and tranquility. We don’t know what we have until it’s gone.”

Once the police station is completed and ready for move-in by March 2026, the old department headquarters will be demolished to make way for a new 2.7-acre Civic Center Park with a memorial grove, event space and exercise equipment .

Current conceptual plans do not include a duck pond, but some council members suggested a water feature be considered in the future.

“It would be a nice touch,” said Councilman George Brietigam. “If the ducks can use it? Better off, right?”

Civic Center construction will enlist local and veteran union hires thanks to a project labor agreement negotiated as part of the deal.

The entire project is expected to be completed by mid-2027.

“I’m just excited to see this happen for our community,” said Councilwoman Kim Nguyen-Peñaloza. “Hopefully, one day, it translates across the street to City Hall.”