• UnitedWeStand

    “Five other properties will be leased and subleased to the company for just $1 a year for fifteen years”!!!!!!!!!
    Orange county government needs more transparency. I agree with councilman Phat Bui and Mr. McIntosh and the City of Garden Grove isn’t the only city in Orange county which is “walking all over their own residents” and doesn’t listen to them..

  • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

    Cloud 9! Eleven years of wishful thinking! Woohoo-yeah!

  • Cynthia Ward

    While I look forward to any project Shaheen is involved in, Garden Grove must first explain the little issue of how HOUSING funds (usually restricted to HOUSING) are used for a commercial venture that removes housing units from the inventory. Have those restrictions been set aside with the demise of RDA?

    Shaheen is a genius and there is nobody better to carry a plan like this forward….AFTER the City has addressed for its residents the VERY REAL concerns about parking and traffic they have already rightfully expressed alarm about. The Packing House is a HUGE success, far beyond anything we imagined when our HPC pitched the idea of a gourmet food court for the Packing House back in the mid-2000s and were told by RDA that “Anaheim’s demographics don’t pencil out for such a thing,” (Up yours, Brad Hobson. I am SO GLAD we did not let the pencil pushers turn the building into condos.) But now you cannot get near the place even in slow periods, parking is a big issue and spills into surrounding neighborhoods. The price of success. Shaheen solved some of the issue with the coolest trolley, which now slowly rolls along a very charming loop of small independent shops, gathering spaces, and architecturally interesting townhomes. Riding that trolley and seeing my neighborhood with new eyes made me fall in love with it all over again. Shaheen also brought his golden touch to the previously failed Center Street Promenade (another “i told you so” to RDA who ignored pleas from the HPC focus group to not put in such generic storefronts) Today our slice of new-old downtown is even better than anything my husband and I used to dream of walking to for date night when we first moved from West Anaheim to the Colony, and wept over the empty lots that had once held our real downtown. Does it beat the SQR store? Nope, the bitterness remains, but as a second best he has taken a sow’s ear and turned it into a charming, high end silk purse, and Anaheim is seeing a huge influx of monied patrons and new residents. It’s been a while since Anaheim gave out a Key to the City, we need to offer one to Shaheen. But there are also some lessons learned by Anaheim’s experience that can be taken to Garden Grove to make a good idea even better.

    In addition to parking, the big skeleton in the closet that has not been addressed is TRASH. I cannot describe the mess that gets left by patrons returning to their cars. Gourmet popsicles still leave popsicle sticks, it doesn’t matter how much you paid for them, the little wooden sticks are the same sticky mess. Wrappers, drink cups, cup lids, straws, napkins, bags, it all ends up in the curbs and parkways and blown up onto lawns. GG MUST insist on a clean up crew. DAILY. Think maintenance district ALA Resort. Otherwise the patrons drawn by Shaheen’s projects seem to be a different crowd than the Fullerton pub crawling crowd, we have never encountered inebriated patrons or the grabby bros that characterize the Fullerton scene.

    Most importantly, Shaheen has a genuine love for history, and worked HARD with the architects to preserve the original character defining features of the sites he now handles in Anaheim, and I trust he will do the same in Garden Grove. If I had the cash to invest I’d be buying in that area because anything he touches turns to gold. The problem i see is the City of Garden Grove has a long standing tradition of walking all over their own residents, and THAT needs to be addressed before Shaheen is let loose to do his thing, because conflict between residents who have been dismissed ends up coming back on the developer, and is not fair to either side.

    Good luck, Garden Grove.

    • occynic

      Agree, not sure how GG can move property from their RDA into their Housing Authority to keep the State from forcing a sale, and then selling it to a private developer for commercial use?

      • Cynthia Ward

        Looks like selling some and leasing some, but it still has to remain in a housing use, does it not? I am no clear how that works with the dissolution of the RDA system. Anyone?