Good morning and welcome to ca essential the news. it’s a Thursday 14 July. I’m a columnist Gustavo Arellano, which means I can get opinions. I am informed of Orange Countyespecially Santana What do you call the rest of Southern California? santa anna.
On the edge of downtown, across the street from Orange County School of the Arts and Latin Jew A synagogue, located on an empty lot that occupies nearly half of the city’s residential block. A two-story earthen mound with weeds on top near its center. The massive wooden fence prevents lookie-loos from inspecting what’s inside.
you welcome in One Broadway Plaza.
It is the grandiose architecture called Moby Dick From Mike Harra, has long been a force in downtown Santana development. The tall, tall, bearded millionaire told anyone who would listen a quarter-century ago that he was the savior of the region by buying buildings big and small when no one else would. He continued this supposed legacy by acquiring the ancient offices of Orange County Register in 2018 and persuading the city council — in a total endowment of public funds — two years later to give him not only a parking structure that Harrah would convert into a 16-story luxury apartment building along with a luxury hotel, but also $13 million in public improvements.
like the old George and Ira Gershwin Melody goes, nice work if you can get it!
But the residents of SanTana loudly mocked Harrah’s plans, because they had already heard this song and dance in unfinished tune at One Broadway Plaza.
As early as 1999, Harrah was telling reporters that he wanted to build a 37-story tower in what is now One Broadway Plaza, making it the tallest building in Orange County (Harrah once told my former editor that he decided this height would allow him To see her from his backyard harbor beach). The city council approved his plans in 2004 despite a staff report that found they would worsen traffic and air quality in surrounding residential neighborhoods. The only caveat imposed by the council: The lane could not begin construction until at least half of the building was rented.
Hara survived the threats of a lawsuit from historical preservationists, a 2005 citywide referendum aimed at blocking the project, and a state investigation into a potential conflict of interest involving then-Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez (who had just been elected as a councillor). Orange County Supreme Court judge last month) as he pledged to turn SanTana into a One Broadway Plaza like Baron Haussmann-Meets-Charlie Daniels which he imagined himself lane.
And then… Nada.
Hara couldn’t find enough tenants to start construction, so he convinced the city council in 2010 to let it start without tenants at all. Then he could not finance the project. Lane sold some of his other possessions, such as brilliant Santora Building In the middle of the country, to support his money … And Nada. By 2018, Hara had turned to seeking a partner, investor or — if someone wanted to pay $200 million for One Broadway Plaza and other properties — a buyer.
“It probably will work,” he told The Register, which revealed that Haret had already spent $90 million for his vacant plot of land.
Santana City Council allowed Harrah in 2020 to use 14 floors of condominiums in the wake of a pandemic that has made offices virtually irrelevant. Now, the brochure it passes—which describes One Broadway Plaza as “the tallest, greenest, and most technologically advanced lavish urban community in Orange County history”—calls for 27 floors of apartments, two stories of theater, restaurants, and a helipad.
How many floors are left for offices? four.
Harrah didn’t respond to a request for comment, which is unfortunate: I’ve covered this story for nearly 20 years, and it was fun to catch up. So I’m leaving Ostedes With the nickname my wife invented years ago at One Broadway Plaza, which comes to mind every time I drive with Hara’s unfulfilled dream:
one piece of earth.
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health and environment
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Los Angeles: Partly cloudy, 81. San Diego: Partly cloudy, 71. San Francisco: Cloudy, 68. San Jose: Sunny, 80. Fresno: Sunny, 105. Sacramento: Sunny, 98.
today California memory comes from John Porsen:
As a kid, growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s was pretty cool at first, but we were lucky enough to get to a cabin a mile from the beaches of Santa Cruz. We spent many summer days there. But she is getting better. Driving on Highway 17 to the coast, my dad often stopped at Santa Village in Scotts Valley for a cruise vacation. The real Christmas land all year round in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains. We enjoyed the strange reality of seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus in 70 degree weather and eating caramel apples from the candy store. California was (and still is to me) a wonderland.
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