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Potential builders at stadium reduced

Anaheim rejects the proposals of 2 potential developers of land next to Angel Stadium. Team owner may have final say on fate of project.

January 11, 2007|Dave McKibben | Times Staff Writer

As the city of Anaheim inches further away from building a professional football facility near Angel Stadium, it may be putting itself on a collision course with an old adversary -- Angels owner Arte Moreno.

City officials late Tuesday reduced the number of potential developers of lofts, office towers and retail districts on the land from five to three. All three have options to build housing, which cannot be constructed without the permission of the Angels under terms of the team's 1996 stadium lease.

That could put Anaheim officials in an awkward position because Moreno hasn't exactly been on the best of terms with the city since it sued him three years ago for changing the baseball team's name from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Technically, however, the developer -- not the city -- would have to work with Moreno.

The City Council whittled down the proposals during a closed session, a step that pleased Councilman Harry Sidhu, who has opposed a National Football League deal on grounds the league wasn't offering fair-market value for the 53-acre parcel. The land is one of two Southland sites the NFL is considering for a return to the Los Angeles market.

"My goal is to bring this to a conclusion without waiting for the NFL to make a decision," Sidhu said. "I hope we can finalize this before the end of the year."

The site is desirable not only because of its proximity to Angel Stadium and the Honda Center arena, but also because it is close to Disneyland. The land is part of the so-called Platinum Triangle, a still-developing, high-density commercial and residential hub expected to become the city's downtown.

One of the three developers still in the mix is Hicks Holdings, headed by Tom Hicks, who owns the Texas Rangers' baseball team and Dallas Stars hockey franchise. Hicks Holdings is building similar mixed-use developments next to the Rangers' stadium and the Stars' practice facility. The Hicks' bid calls for apartments, offices, shops, a parking garage and a 400-room hotel.

Another candidate is Windstar Communities, which recently built a condominium complex across from Angel Stadium. The Windstar proposal has four alternatives, three that include residential and two that involve an NFL stadium.

"'I'm not sure residential is all that important given the fact there's 9,500 planned units in the Platinum Triangle," said Eric Heffner, a vice president of Windstar. "But residential development really allows this area to be a 24/7 live, work and play community."

The other contender is Archstone-Smith and Hines, a nationally known builder that has reportedly offered more than $150 million for the land. It plans two or three upscale hotels, housing and a plaza that would have a farmers' market, concert venues and outdoor movies.

The council bypassed offers from Lennar Corp. and SunCal Cos.

If the city chooses to build residential units on the stadium site, Hicks Holdings could have an advantage over its competition because of Hicks' relationship with Moreno.

"It certainly is about relationships and Hicks has a leg up, because he can get on the phone and call Moreno," said Keith Ray, Archstone's senior vice president. "But at the end of day, it's about enhancing the city's vision for the Platinum Triangle and which proposal accomplishes that best."

Hicks' officials said Tom Hicks' relationship with Moreno shouldn't be much of a factor in the process.

"If we have an advantage or a unique perspective, it certainly is because we've done this type of mixed-use stadium development before," said Casey Shilts, the group's executive vice president. "Major League Baseball owners have a small fraternity and Tom and Arte are simply two of 30 owners."

The Angels and Anaheim officials have had little contact since the city appealed its defeat in a lawsuit against the team over the name change last June.

Sidhu was the only council member to vote against the appeal.

"I'm the one who has been looking for compromise with Mr. Moreno," Sidhu said. "With or without residential, the city will still need Arte Moreno's blessing as we move forward on environmental impact reports."

david.mckibben@latimes.com

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

And then there were three

Anaheim has eliminated two of the five developers who proposed a mix of high-rise office and residential tower projects for a 53-acre site at Angel Stadium. The remaining candidates and their proposals:

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Windstar (4 alternatives)

Housing: Various combinations, from 0 to 1,750 rental units, 15% low-cost units

Office: 482,000 to 1.6 million square feet in high-, mid- or low-rise buildings

Retail/entertainment: up to 478,000 square feet

Hotel: Up to 1,000 hotel rooms in 3 locations

Youth sports: Sand volleyball, handball, basketball courts and batting cages

Stadium: Two alternatives include an NFL stadium.

Other: Waterfront district along the Santa Ana River, monorail

Parking: About 10,000 spaces, including 1,400 to 3,500

residential spaces

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Hicks

Housing: 700 units for rent, free-standing and atop stores;

10% would be low-cost units

Office: 880,000 square feet in free-standing buildings and offices over retail

Retail: 600,000 square feet

Stadium: Would consider working with NFL

Hotel: 400-room hotel

Parking: Garage proposed

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Archstone-Smith

Housing: 1,100 rental units, with 20% low-cost

Office: 2.8 million square feet in mid-rise and high-rise buildings

Retail: 1.4 million square feet

Stadium: One plan incorporates proposed NFL stadium.

Hotel: Two hotels, one with 380 rooms and 200,000 square feet of exhibition/convention space, the other a 230-room hotel

Parking: 18,512 spaces

Other: Entertainment areas for children, communal dining

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Source: City of Anaheim

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