By Jim Tortolano
If the words “rusty skeleton” and “Pavilions” raise your blood pressure because of the long delays in moving either of those projects from eyesore to attraction, there’s good news on the way.
According to Lisa Kim, director of community and economic development for the City of Garden Grove, both are starting to stride along with results visible soon or perhaps just over the horizon.
The “skeleton” is a term for the Galleria project on Garden Grove Boulevard (west of Brookhurst Street) that was begun in 2004 and scheduled to open in 2006. It stalled in mid-construction and stood vacant and only partially built for over a decade.
Now, with a new property owner and developer, the new Garden Brook Senior Village is seeing some dust fly. “We have construction on completing the parking structure underway,” said Kim. “We anticipate issuing building permits for the steel structure this month.” Plans for the third phase – tenant improvements – should land in city hall in July.
The final product will be a mixed-use project composed of nearly 400 units of senior citizen housing, fronted by several ground-level units of retail.
Another high-profile development that’s about to wake up is the former Pavilions building in the Pavilion Center on Chapman Avenue west of Brookhurst Street. Originally a Zody’s discount department store and later a Vons Pavilions supermarket, the 76,000-square foot structure has been empty and silent for decades.
The Sterling Organization of Florida bought the property in 2017, with the announced purpose of using the building to house a chain supermarket and eateries. Two years later, without much progress, there’s a shift in strategy.
“The Sterling folks are in the process of reevaluating the site,” said Kim. “Their original plan was to undertake what we called an adaptive reuse, which is to reuse the building.
“What they came to realize is that the tenant needs are vastly different, so they are moving forward with a potential plan to demolish the existing improvements and construct new buildings to meet their tenant’s requirements,” she said.
Another change which may make the hearts of shoppers beat faster is $2 million worth of interior construction in the Target department store at Chapman Avenue and Harbor Boulevard that is underway to upgrade it to the company’s new, more upscale design such as is found in stores in Cypress and Orange.
Other development news from Kim includes:
- Cottage Industries: The second phase plans for this arts-type village of re-purposed single family homes east of Euclid Street and north of Garden Grove Boulevard should reach the planning commission within 60 days. The developer would probably want to build both phases at once, she said.
- SteelCraft: “It will open this summer,” she said, referring to the under-construction food village on Euclid south of Acacia Parkway.
- P.E. Right-of-Way bike path: Plans are being finalized to use the stretch of former Pacific Electric right-of-way from Nelson Street to Brookhurst Street as a bicycle path. The city has received a $360,000 state urban forestry grant, and a portion of that will go to provide landscaping along what’s now a barren and dusty stretch of former railroad track.
- The Promenade: Garden Grove’s oldest – and still largest – shopping center, originally called Orange County Plaza, will see some changes. The McDonald’s eatery will be demolished and replaced with a new McD’s building, along with double drive-through lanes. A new store, Five Below, will move into the space vacated by Fashion City and “There’s another use coming on line I can’t disclose right now.”
She also pointed to progress in hotel development on Harbor Boulevard and new businesses and eateries coming to Valley View Street in the West Grove area.
“Garden Grove is open for business,” she said. “We’re very proactive.”
Categories: Garden Grove