The long-stalled Gotcha Glacier project that would have featured indoor snowboard, skateboard and surfing areas in a towering building near Edison International Field in Anaheim may be doomed for lack of financing.
City officials said Friday they are considering alternatives for the site after Gotcha Glacier's organizers were unable to arrange financing to begin construction of the four-story project.
City officials say they granted several extensions to Gotcha Glacier--at a cost of about $500,000 to the project's backers--but the exclusive option to build on the site expired last month.
"They did not ask for another extension," City Councilman Tom Tait said. The city began granting the extensions early last year.
As Gotcha Glacier's backers struggled to line up financing for the $130-million project, other venues opened to cater to Southern California's burgeoning entertainment-retail market. Downtown Disney, a collection of more than two dozen stores, restaurants and nightclubs, opened a few miles away.
A shaky economy added to the uncertainty.
"The economy was beginning to change, the bond market was changing, interest rates were changing," said David Freedman, a former investment banker who has been trying to secure financing for the project. "Obviously with the economy the way it is, there's not as much free money out there flowing around to invest in different types of projects."
Backers of Pointe Anaheim, a proposed $550-million retail, entertainment and hotel complex across the street from Disneyland, also have encountered delays. The Pointe Anaheim developers, who had hoped to open the complex about the time Disney launched its California Adventure theme park, now plan to ask the city to allow them to build it in phases, said David Rose, a partner in the project.
Gotcha Glacier's backers insist their project is not dead.
"I dedicated eight years of my life to this thing," said Brad Kinney, former chief executive of project developer Glacier of Anaheim. "I'm going to carry it forward, no matter what." In all, more than $9 million has been sunk into the project, he said.
Freedman insists Gotcha Glacier could still be built next to Edison Field.
"By no means are we abandoning our Anaheim project," he said. "It takes the right investor to understand the project and help us grow the company."
Although the city would reconsider the Gotcha Glacier project if backers can patch together the financing, the property is now up for grabs, officials say.
"We'll be developing a whole new strategy for marketing that particular site," Councilwoman Shirley McCracken said.
Mayor Tom Daly said earlier that if the Glacier project fell through, Anaheim could use the site for developing hotels and office buildings or recreational uses. A six-story office building, the Summit, is expected to open nearby in October.
Times staff writer Marc Ballon contributed to this report.
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Organizers of the proposed Gotcha Glacier have suffered a major setback, losing the exclusive right to build an ambitious extreme sports park and retail complex in Anaheim.