20 years of the epic dirt land in Santa Ana

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.

and now, Here’s what’s happening across California:

Note: Some of the sites we link to may limit the number of Stories you can access without a subscription.


In a fatal shooting, Los Angeles police said a man targeted an officer. Body cam footage tells a different story. Rather than explaining what happened, the video added more uncertainty to the incident. Los Angeles Times

Starbucks will close six Los Angeles stores that are “unsafe to continue operating,” the company says. There’s also that annoying matter of the guild’s collective efforts sweeping across the company, I’m sure of it nothing To do closures on hand. Los Angeles Times

The Walls of Troy: Exclusion and Society in a Pandemic. PhD Student in American Studies and Ethnicity at USC – Go Bruins! – Dump on her school. Perspectives on history

Two Los Angeles priests say goodbye as Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral changes patrons. Goodbye Father David Gallardo. Hello Monsignor. Antonio Cacciabuti. Angelos News

politics and government

California opens door to sue gun makers. This is what the new law does. Three weeks after the US Supreme Court overturned strict state controls on concealed-gun licenses, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a law to limit the availability of “unnaturally dangerous” guns in the state. Los Angeles Times

Some urban notes from my vacation in Barcelona. Streetsblog LA editor Joe Linton takes inspiration from the Catalan capital. Streetsblog LA

Crime, Courts and Police

The court said that the records of Roman Polanski’s criminal case should be opened. An appeals court ruled Wednesday that records related to the Roman Polanski case must be made public, which could end the decades-old legal saga over the sexual assault of a teenager by the film director in 1977. The Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles police are looking for suspects in a series of convenience store robberies. No word yet if this loser is connected to a series of deadly 7- to 11-second robberies in Orange County. Los Angeles Times

The UCSD chancellor investigated the hit-and-run allegations, but denied involvement. What Gacho Gaucho. Los Angeles Times

Daily news podcast

If you’re a fan of this newsletter, you’ll love the daily podcast “The Times” hosted every weekday by columnist Gustavo Arellano, along with reporters from around our newsroom. Skip the headlines. Download and listen to our app, subscribe to Apple Podcasts and follow it on Spotify.

health and environment

Water use in Los Angeles has fallen to a record 9% as unprecedented restrictions lead to savings. If you don’t already have a five-gallon bucket in the shower to collect the water as it warms, you’re no better than William Mulholland. Los Angeles Times

Sprinkle of grass water in the Alhambra.

(Frederick J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

California meat farms and meatpacking have had more COVID violations than all other industries combined. Nor does being exposed to a breach of safety rules seem to make these workplaces safer. Mother Jones

California culture

31 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Los Angeles and OC Rescue dogs Hawk and Cosmo get puppy-friendly sunscreen and are ready to catch the waves. Los Angeles Times

Birria is taco culture’s biggest threat—and its savior. Texas Taco Monthly editor Jose Ralat — whom I just met in my column for the Jill Biden Breakfast Taco Gate Show — talks about the Los Angeles origins of the beef stew that has dominated Mexican restaurants across the United States. (Mine tia Paulita in Artesia serves the best birria de res And the It makes two different kinds of salsa. Sorry, you can’t get any of it unless you hit my own Primo Sergio Texas Monthly

The Backyard Punk-inspired “BYO Gaming” lounge offers East Los Angeles youth another way to fight back. Improving the performance of the game “Super Smash Bros.” groups! Los Angeles Taco

Hells Angels want to hold a Sonny Barger memorial service at the Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders must return one last time to pay # respect to the founder of the Oakland branch of the Motorcycle Club. Auckland Side

Free online games

Get free crossword puzzles, sudoku, word searches and arcade games daily in our game center at latimes.com/games.

California calendar

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.

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, Share it with us. (Please keep your story at 100 words.)

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