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Odetics Appears Safe From Disney Clutches : Expansion: Electronics firm feared displacement under park's plans, but plant is no longer prime site for a parking garage.

April 29, 1992|CHRIS WOODYARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ANAHEIM — A large Anaheim employer that feared it would be forced to shut down and move because of Disneyland's planned expansion said Tuesday that the danger appears to have passed.

Odetics Inc. reported that the Walt Disney Co. has assured the firm that its 14-acre parcel on Manchester Avenue is no longer the primary site for a massive new parking garage.

"We went to Disney and we said: 'We're not in the real estate business. We're in the electronics business. We're concerned about continuity for our customers,' " said Odetics Chairman Joel Slutzky.

He said Disney contacted company officials during the past week and told them that the Odetics site is now an alternate.

But they did not say, according to Slutzky, how they planned to make up for the parking space they would lose by excluding the Odetics plant. The company makes a variety of electronics equipment for government and private industry.

Marty Zajic, community relations manager for the Disneyland Resort project, said the change "reflects a continuing refinement of the development process," but added that she did not know how Disney planned to make up for the lost parking space.

Anaheim Asst. City Manager Tom Wood said he believes the resort's parking structure will still be located in the same general area.

He, too, called the change a "refinement" of the original plan, which called for two massive parking structures on the east side of Disneyland next to the Santa Ana Freeway.

The dispute over the Odetics property arose last May when Slutzky perused a newspaper article about the proposed $3-billion theme park and resort complex that Disney planned to build around Disneyland.

In a diagram of the master plan, he saw a Disney parking structure plopped on the site of his company's headquarters.

Disney plans to build the largest parking structures ever constructed, two of them near Odetics and another on the west side of the park. Together, they would hold 28,000 cars. Patrons would be delivered to the theme park on people movers.

Since the plan has been unveiled, however, some property owners have been reluctant to accept Disney's offers to buy their property. This has forced Disney to consider scaling back its plans for the resort.

Slutzky said that he remained adamant about Odetics staying put, and that no price for the property was discussed with Disney officials.

He said he wanted to reassure the company's thousands of customers that the company's operations, and thus their shipments, would not be interrupted by Disney's expansion plans.

"All we were concerned about was our customers," he said.

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