Developers unveiled proposals Tuesday for an action-packed indoor sports complex and a six-story office building at Sportstown Anaheim, the giant entertainment and business project to be built in the parking lot of Edison International Field.
The two projects, which would draw an estimated 2 million visitors a year and generate about $40 million in revenue for the city over the next 30 years, would help make Anaheim a world-class resort destination, city officials said.
"I think it's the right project at the right time in the right location," Mayor Tom Daly said following a City Council workshop where details of the two proposed projects were revealed.
Gotcha Glacier, the $40-million indoor snowboard park project announced in January, has been greatly expanded to include an indoor wave park for surfers, a 75-foot rock-climbing wall and an indoor skydiving chamber.
The project, initially planned at 275,000 square feet and four stories high, now will encompass 435,000 square feet, be 150 feet tall and cost about $65 million to build, its developers said.
"We've packaged it kind of like a mall--we're big on entertainment with a little bit of retail," said Michael Gerard, chief of operations and marketing of San Juan Capistrano-based The Glacier of Anaheim LLC. "We've created this compact, dynamic facility."
Gerard declined to identify the lenders for the one-of-a-kind project, saying the details still were being worked out.
The office complex, a six-story, 250,000-square-foot project, was proposed by Summit Commercial Properties and Mack-Cali Realty Partners. The Anaheim City Council next week will consider selling the developers 1.5 acres for about $4.2 million to build the office complex.
A July 1999 groundbreaking is anticipated and completion is targeted for September 2000. Summit is owned by Highridge Partners, which has owned or sold more than $2.5 billion worth of commercial real estate the past 10 years, city officials said.
The two projects are the first to be announced since the city took over the development of Sportstown earlier this month after Forest City Development Inc., a giant Cleveland mall developer, pulled out of the project.
The city is keeping its options open and has not yet decided whether to search for another developer for Sportstown, Daly said.
For now, the mayor added that the city has been contacted by developers interested in building on the remaining 14 acres of the Sportstown site.
City Manager James D. Ruth said that Anaheim is going to be "very selective" with future development proposals. "We're in no rush. . . . We're looking for something compatible to the Sportstown theme."
Some analysts believe that the city will have a tough time trying to lure visitors and tenants to the project.
Even though the Sportstown site is near several freeways, the complex faces competition from other nearby entertainment venues.
There are 20 potential or newly completed projects within a few miles of the site, including the newly opened Block of Orange shopping and entertainment complex.
Sportstown is adjacent to Edison Field, home of the Anaheim Angels, and near the Arrowhead Pond, home of the Mighty Ducks. Disneyland and its new California Adventure theme park, now under construction and opening in 2001, also are nearby.
So far, Tinseltown Studios, a new Hollywood-themed interactive dinner theater owned and operated by Ogden Entertainment, is the lone Sportstown attraction. The Academy Award-style theater opened in November.
City officials are optimistic that Gotcha Glacier will transpire and become another glowing Anaheim entertainment venue.
"They've got the financing capability," Ruth said. "We're very confident it will move ahead."
The council will consider approving a long-term lease agreement with the Gotcha Glacier at next Tuesday's meeting.
If approved, construction is expected to begin in April with the opening of the facility targeted for May 2000.