Angels Play Hardball to Force Delay of Council Vote on Proposed Development

A rendering of the proposed project by LT Global.

A rendering of the proposed project by LT Global.

Print More

The Anaheim City Council voted Tuesday to postpone a vote on a proposed  $450 million mega-development at the Platinum Triangle after the developer, Hong Kong-based LT Global Development, requested a continuance to quell opposition from Angels Baseball.

The project — which would put 405 condominium and apartment units, a 200-room hotel, and office and commercial space on a property adjacent to Angel Stadium — has strong support from city leaders and nearby businesses. But if the project were to go forward, it would sharply curtail the team’s ability to build its own developments around the stadium.

With that reality looming, team officials have sent several letters outlining a potential legal challenge, filed an appeal, and suggested the project might cause them to, yet again, look to make their home elsewhere.

On Monday, the team delivered a 326-page environmental analysis to city officials to bolster its claim that the city has rushed to approve plans for the development without conducting a proper environmental impact review as required by law.

That forced LT Global to request Tuesday that the council postpone a vote and public hearing on the development until October 18. LT Global officials said they’re confident they can resolve the team’s concerns by then.

“There’s been a lot of really positive dialogue over the last couple of weeks,” said Rich Knowland, a project consultant for LT Global, during Tuesday’s council meeting.

The city conducted a full environmental review of the Platinum Triangle in 2010. That review was based on zoning requirements and earlier development plans that have since fallen through, said city spokesman Mike Lyster.

The city argues that because the LT Global project proposes fewer residential units and uses than what the land is allotted for, they don’t need to produce a full environmental impact report for the project.

If the project is approved, the Angels would have 30 days to challenge the decision.

Although the baseball team has said an approval of the development might cause them to reconsider renewing their lease on Angel Stadium, they will have some difficulty finding other options.

The team recently reopened negotiations with Anaheim after a failed gambit to relocate to Tustin, which refused to pledge public dollars for a new stadium.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday night that the team is likely to stay until the end of its lease in 2029 while it figures out other options.

At least one other group has joined the Angels in their opposition to the project. UNITE-HERE Local 11, a labor union for hotel workers, says LT Global Development has refused to meet with them to discuss a labor agreement for the planned hotel.

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

  • JS

    1) The area to be developed its a vacant industrial site which has been an eyesore for many years. LT already purchased the land, if not allowed to develop, it will continue to be an eyesore for another couple of decade.

    2) It will be a high end plaza which LT estimates will generate $5 million annually in property, sales and hotel taxes, and $3 million would go to schools. It will also raise the surrounding property value and provide great amenities to residents. However yes it will increase traffic in the area.

    3) Lets get real here, Angels could not care less about the environment nor Anaheim(as you recall they recently had a failed attempt to move to Tustin). This is a last ditch effort to kill the project. Angels owner Moreno(who is worth 2.1 Billion) wants to develop the area himself to profit from it. He wants to keep the area blighted so he can get it free from the taxpayers of Anaheim. He has been wanting to “lease the stadium’s parking lot for $1 annually over 66 years for development of his own commercial project.” I wish I could get a big plot of land from the taxpayers to profit from in the middle of expensive OC for $1 a year. What a joke.

  • David Zenger

    Curious how the media continue to misrepresent the 2013 MOU with “facts” that were floated like trial balloons by the Kleptocracy long AFTER the MOU was approved. Here is LA Times Bill Shaikin:

    “With Anaheim ruling out payment of the estimated $130 million to $150 million in infrastructure improvements necessary to maintain Angel Stadium for several more decades, the city had proposed letting the team develop part of the parking lot, then using the profits to recoup the cost of stadium renovations.”

    The MOU didn’t mention the City paying – or not paying – infrastructure costs at all. It didn’t mention the Angels using development revenue to so stadium renovations, either.

    • RyanCantor

      Not to mention that the existing lease REQUIRES the Angels to spend that money.

      Watch Arte try to get out of it.

      • David Zenger

        That’s a good point, especially if deferred maintenance (Arte’s responsibility) has led to structural issues. Of course the public’s side of this needs a strong advocate – obviously NOT the likes of Blackie, Brandman, Murray or Kring.

  • RyanCantor

    “The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday night that the team is likely to stay until the end of its lease in 2029 while it figures out other options.”

    There’s a shocker.

    • David Zenger

      You are evidently unschooled in the Business of Baseball. Are you not aware that every passing day brings the Angels even more opportunities to move elsewhere?

      Better to give them anything they want NOW. Charlie Black sez so.

  • LFOldTimer

    With a win pct. of about .450, 22 games out of 1st in the American League West and 2nd to the cellar in that particular division I have no idea how any rational person would take the Angels seriously when they throw a tantrum over city development plans.

    But apparently the Anaheim Council does.

    If I were on the Council I would point Arte and his highly paid ballplayers in the direction of Tustin and tell them not to let the door hit them on the backside as they exit.

    • Cynthia Ward

      Tustin doesn’t want them either. The gun held to our heads in 2013 has no bullets in it. Well, it has shells, but the casings are empty, placed there by our own Council majority who knew they couldn’t very well give in to “demands” for THEIR preferred pre-determined outcome if there was nothing but a hollow “clicking” sound when the trigger is pulled.

      Interestingly, there is evidence to suggest the City of Anaheim never stopped trying to entice the Angels into taking the OFFER of that tasty morsel of real estate at $1 a year. Because this is not about the Angels or Anaheim residents, it is about the “someone” behind the scenes that has been making a deal with the Angels since late 2009/early 2010, using the Angels leverage of “we will leave” to score that deal. Because when you have to offer profits to the developer doing the deal, AND the team owner demanding the deal as middle man, AND the deal maker who cooked it all up in the first place, plus a cut of the action to the little minions like the Chamber shilling for the deal, well there isn’t any room left in that equation to pay the citizens of Anaheim anywhere near market value for the development of land we were offered as the booby prize for forking over the profits from the Stadium back in 1996. Yep, the team makes whatever money they can squeeze from any deal they can make on the use of the Stadium while we still cover the construction bonds, the team pays for maintenance (an iffy outcome given the lack of permits pulled for the Stadium) and Anaheim gets a team named for Anaheim to increase visibility and bring more tourists and TOT to town, and we get to develop the Stadium DISTRICT real estate and reap the rewards. Well we know what happened to the first part of the deal, and the mockery of the name. Now we stand to forfeit the last remaining benefit to our 50 years of investment on that property, while helplessly watching a team owner defer maintenance on the building. And NOT ONE of our leaders is squawking or demanding accountability for the maintenance. Welcome to Anaheim.

      The biggest question is, who calls the shots for STAFF? It is obvious City staff is still making back room deals with the team, or the team would not have this sense of entitlement over the development next door interfering with development the team supposedly walked away from in 2014. Yet the deal is not going through Wylie Aitken, the lawyer we very publicly hired to talk to the team. Nor do these deals appear to be known to the Council, at least not in a way that is becoming public. Not even an announcement of, “hey, Arte is answering his phone for us again!” Staff is getting marching orders from SOMEONE. Who might that be?

      And here is a note to the team big wigs; read the old September 2013 agreements that make it clear that all actions are subject to the City of Anaheim actually obeying the law. Because any agreement that could be FRAUD against the people of Anaheim, or professional negligence on the part of City staff, is POSSIBLY subject to be found null and void. Not that I know anyone who has the guts to take on the City over these things…or do I? It is in the team’s best interest to make a deal that benefits the citizens of Anaheim, and a deal that is made with a lot more transparency than has been provided prior to this. City staff is not going to offer us that courtesy. The Council majority is not going to offer us that courtesy. So the team leaders DEMANDING such transparency as we head into the next round of talks would go a LONG way with public opinion, and potentially avoid the SAME outcome seen in 2013, when we were blindsided by a back room deal made known at the last minute, and we fought back in reactive “fight or flight” mode. Even if Moreno is too unplugged from the everyday concerns of the city that plays host to his team, I am sure that Mr. Carpino is smarter than to let that happen again. The City keeps OFFERING these deals, based on marching orders from God knows who, (although we have our beliefs) and then leaving the Angels twisting in the wind when it comes time to admit the deals are OFFERED, and frankly downright PUSHED to the team! Why Mr. Carpino and Mr. Moreno allow the City’s lackeys to make monkeys out of them is beyond me. How much money is it worth to be positioned as a laughingstock to your own fans? Wide up, gentlemen, you are playing the game by rules set by amateur hoodlums. Not that I have an opinion on this, in any way.