By Jim Tortolano
An agreement for the sale of a former car dealership building to be replaced by a hotel was approved by the Garden Grove City Council Tuesday night.
The council voted 5-0 to approve a resolution to sell the 1.45-acre site to the BN Group, LCC for $2.8 million. The property is located at 13650 Harbor Boulevard, south of the Garden Grove (22) Freeway. BN is a developer and builder of hotel based in Louisiana, which has a portfolio of Hilton, Marriott and other chain-operated hospitality operations along the Gulf Coast.
“I’m excited about this,” said Councilman Steve Jones. “It’s the first hotel south of the freeway, and it’s kind of a milestone.”
The sale of the property, once completed, would net the city $1.2 million after paying off the amount owed from the original purchase in 2011. Constructed originally as a Mazda new car dealership, the property went through several uses. It was bought by the city for use as a Vietnam War museum. When fund-raising flagged, and a large balloon payment on the site loomed, the museum plans were dropped and the property put up for sale.
The approval of the property sale went through quickly, but the largest portion of the meeting was devoted to argument over whether Tony Flores, a write-in candidate for the city’s mayorship, should be allowed to present a Power Point address to the council.
Council members Chris Phan and Phat Bui expressed their objections to the use of video during oral communications, but Nguyen – as mayor and presiding officer of the council – ruled that it would be allowed.
However, the council then voted 4-1 – with Nguyen opposed – to overrule the mayor and not allow the display of Flores’ slides. After that decision, Flores addressed the council on the matter of rising crime rates in Garden Grove, and urged the city leaders to hire more police officers and assemble more resources to address the problem.
Toward the end of the meeting, the council took up two matters that have generated controversy. Approved for placement on a future city council agenda were the creations of a policy on the placement of monuments in city parks or property and of a policy on video presentations from the public during oral communications.
The latter referred to Tuesday’s wrangle over Flores’ Power Point; the former to an earlier proposal to build a Black April/Vietnam War memorial in Garden Grove Park.
Categories: Garden Grove