By Fernando Alcantara/Garden Grove Journal
“I think Gov. Brown was insane for what he did,” council member Bruce Broadwater said regarding Brown’s decision to shut down the redevelopment agency. “[The redevelopment agency] changed the financial situation in Garden Grove. Those hotels [on Harbor Boulevard] were a fantastic change for the city. ”
Council member Kris Beard pointed out the other assets provided to the city via the redevelopment agency in affordable housing and other economic providers.
“There have been over 1000 [affordable housing] units in the last 10 years as well as major retailers that have been brought into the city,” Beard said. “It took 60 years for the state to have redevelopment in place and they’ve dismantled it in less than a month.”
Mayor William Dalton reminded those in attendance to remember what Harbor Boulevard and Chapman Avenue looked like, 12 to 15 years ago.
“It was an area that was blighted and run-down,” the mayor said. “And now we have hotels that we are proud of. The sad part is there are other [areas] the redevelopment agency could have done good for, as well as other cities. But because the Governor decided to balance the budget on our backs we, as well as 400 cities in California, are now going to suffer.”
Despite the order to shut down the agency, Garden Grove still has prior obligations that preclude them from simply walking away.
“We’re shutting down the agency as fast as we possibly can,” Broadwater said. “But shutting down a multi-million dollar operation is not just something you can do like that; it takes time.”
As the city completes the disbanding of the redevelopment agency, city council continued on with pending work, granting two requests for purchase of two properties on Choisser Road in Garden Grove to develop the “Upper Upscale” Hotel.
Development for the 19-story, 300-400 room hotel will now begin on two adjoining properties for which council approved the purchase, totaling $885,000.
In addition to the hotel plans, council also approved the plans to purchase four units for the development of affordable housing on Tamer Lane, also in Garden Grove.
“These properties that we’ve bought, that are being questioned, is us trying to make things work,” Broadwater said.