The shape of things to come

THE VACANT lot at Brookhurst Street and Garden Grove Boulevard in Garden Grove should see some construction activity soon (Orange County Tribune photo).

Last month The Tribune did an interview with Lisa Kim, Garden Grove’s director of community and economic development (and assistant city manager) for our semi-annual update on new businesses planned (or under construction) in the City of Youth and Ambition.

She gave us a lot of information about plans for the Willowick Golf Course, Harbor Boulevard hotels, downtown projects (including the Cottage Industries), etc.

But we didn’t have room to cover it all, so here’s “part two.”

At the Brookhurst Triangle, the first phase of Brookhurst Place housing is completed. The project, in the area bounded generally by Brookhurst Street, Brookhurst Way and Garden Grove Boulevard, is to be divided into five phases.

The next phase is 118 rental apartments in the now-vacant land at the southern part of the lot. It’s in plan check and permit issuance is anticipated in the first quarter of 2022. The retail component will come in phases four and five.

In the area of Brookhurst Street and Chapman Avenue, the new Sprouts Farmer’s Market recently held its formal grand opening. Also under construction will be an Ulta beauty store, Mattress Firm (presumably a firm that sells firm mattresses) as well as eateries The Habit (burgers, etc.) and Jersey Mike’s (sub-style sandwiches).

The developer is the Sterling Organization of Florida.

Frankly, Sterling gets high marks here for the speed with which they pressed forward to get the building constructed and opened, and its ability to attract high-appeal national retailers.

Could there be more goodies from them in the future?

“Sterling is overwhelmingly interested in other properties in Garden Grove,” said Kim.

Hmmmm …. Well, we do have a little list …

What’s in a name? Who’s in a name?

At its last meeting, the Westminster City Council voted to change the name of Park West Park to Tony Lam Park. Generally speaking, we don’t think favorably about changing long-standing names in favor of local politicians who are eventually forgotten.

TONY LAM (OC Public Library)

But this time, it may be the right thing to do. For most people, Lam’s claim to fame was being the first Vietnamese-born person elected to public office in the U.S.  Owner of the Vien Dong restaurant in Garden Grove, he was active in a wide variety of community involvement.

He was elected three times to the city council. His support came not just from the Vietnamese population, but also from across the whole city. Perhaps his finest hour came in 1999 when a video store operator in the Little Saigon area of Westminster made the unwise – but constitutionally protected – decision to display a poster of Ho Chi Minh and the communist flag of (North) Vietnam.

Angry demonstrations followed, and Lam was drawn into controversy by refusing to join in the protests. We like to think he recognized that in America, free speech of all kinds is allowed even if unpopular.

A politician in Westminster with widespread support across ethnic lines and unwilling to play the “communist sympathizer” card every election year? This All-American city could use more like him.

“Usually Reliable Sources” appears on alternate weeks, trading places with Jim Tortolano’s “Retorts” column.


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