Garden Grove

“Open Streets” opens arms to big crowd

STREETS in the central part of Garden Grove were closed to automobiles and turned over the bicyclists and pedestrians on Saturday (OC Tribune photo).


By Jim Tortolano

Two-wheeled cycles. Four-legged acrobats. Four-wheel cycles. Bands, balloons and beer. All this and more were on the scene Saturday for the third annual Open Streets event in central Garden Grove.

As part of an ongoing effort to introduce locals – and visitors – to the possibilities of the city’s downtown and a greater emphasis on a walkable and bikeable community, several streets were closed Saturday from 3-6 p.m. An “after-party” event was held on Main Street from 6-10 p.m. with The Answer band, overhead lights, a beer garden and more.

LARGER-THAN LIFE Adirondack chairs in the Civic Center Park made for some fun photo ops (OC Tribune photo).

Perfect weather appeared to attract a big crowd. “The turnout’s been great,” said City Manager Scott Stiles. “There’s food, the dogs, music, information. There’s something for everyone.”

The dogs were a canine agility exhibition in which four-legged athletes ran, jumped and wriggled through an obstacle course. There was a rock climbing wall for the vertically-inclined, dancing, two giant Adirondack chairs for photo ops and much more.

One aspect of the event was to help introduce the Cottage Industries development to those in attendance. Developer Saheen Sadeghi is in the process of “re-purposing” almost two dozen properties located near the Civic Center, west of 9th Street.

The intention is create a new or expanded downtown area with older homes turned into wine bars, art galleries, micro-breweries and other uses appealing to millennials. Two tented booths and a band – Riff Raff – were headquartered on 8th Street where information about the project was handed out to strollers and cyclists, and the gathering of an e-mail list for future news about the development

“We’re in the development stage,” said Josh DuWalas, on hand to represent College Industries. “Right now we’re in the process of refurbishing them into shops and restaurants,” he said. “What I’ve been told is by the middle or end of summer, we’ll be opening up one or two shops and see how they do,

how much traffic they have. We’ll see where they go from there.”

Sadegi is the developer behind the popular Packing House food hall in Anaheim, and The LAB “anti-mall” in Costa Mesa.

FLEET-FOOTED canines demonstrated their skills on a dog agility course near the Coastline College building in Garden Grove (OC Tribune photo).

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