By: Kelsie Maree Borland
August 13, 2019 —
The City of Anaheim has launched a new development agreement that is intended to attract investment and development to the Beach Blvd. corridor. The initiative will bring retail, restaurants and home communities to a 1.5-mile stretch of Beach Blvd. through the sale or lease of city land. The initiative includes flexible development rules and regulations and for development and redevelopment.
“This agreement is designed to get this long-awaited project moving as soon as possible and was led by our Mayor, Harry Sidhu,” Mike Lyster of the City of Anaheim, tells GlobeSt.com. “Once planned as a power center with big boxes, this agreement will bring a mix of townhomes, stores, restaurants and other businesses. The project will add new residents who’ll help support the businesses of 39 Commons. We expect to see plans move forward with the city in coming weeks and construction in 2020.”
Beach Blvd. is ripe for revitalization, particularly because of new flexible zoning regulations that allow for new uses and recent seed investments from the city. In total, the new plan could bring 3,651 to 5,128 new homes to the market and increase allowable retail, dining and commercial development by 907,000 square feet. “Beach is prime for redevelopment with new flexible zoning, seed investments by the city and successful redevelopment in neighboring Buena Park,” says Lyster. “Beach has challenges—outdated motels, strip malls and other blight. But as is often the case in developed markets, opportunity rises from challenge. The zoning we’ve put in place sets the stage for a walkable street of homes, shops and other businesses along with community spaces. We have the opportunity to create the kind of redevelopment success we’ve seen in downtown Anaheim and in cities across Southern California.”
The initiative is still new, but the city expects to see strong interest. “We are early yet, but we expect to see strong interest from investors and developers who’ve seen what Anaheim has done before to transform our downtown, stadium area and The Anaheim Resort around Disneyland,” says Lyster. “Irvine-based Greenlaw Partners Inc. is new to the project. They are a great mixed-use developer and speak to the opportunity on Beach with this project and beyond.”
39 Commons is the anchor of the model. Developer 39 Commons LLC is reimaging 30 acres of land owned by the City of Anaheim as a mixed-use campus with a shopping center, new homes and community space. “We see 39 Commons leading the way for the larger redevelopment of Beach in Anaheim,” says Lyster. “The project will replace an empty lot with people, homes, shopping and outdoor spaces. That alone will have an incredible impact on Beach. From there, we see redevelopment spreading south and entirely remaking Beach in our city. We see underutilized motels and strip malls giving way to street-facing homes and businesses with outdoor dining, plazas and street corner promenades. This will play out over decades, but in five years we expect to see 39 Commons thriving and driving redevelopment to the south along Beach.”