Garden Grove

Boom building times are here

THE AURELA project, with Kimpton and LeMeridien hotels on Harbor Boulevard (City of Garden Grove).

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

From Valley View Street on the west to Harbor Boulevard on the east, development in Garden Grove is now roaring back out of the shadow cast by the coronavirus pandemic with projects which may transform areas of the community.

Huge new hotels are slated to begin construction; new food choices across the taste bud spectrum are on their way and new retail and office space will be constructed.

All these things and more are in Garden Grove’s near future, according to Lisa Kim, assistant city manager and director of community and economic development.

Twice a year, The Tribune sits down with Kim for a review – or perhaps preview – of the shape of things to come.

Harbor Boulevard: The city planning commission recently recommended approval to the city council of plans for a 500-room Nickelodeon-themed hotel on a 3.72-acre site immediately south of the existing Sheraton Hotel. Once construction starts, estimates Kim, completion should take 18 to 24 months.

NICKELODEON HOTEL planned for Harbor’s west side (City of Garden Grove).

Across the street on the east side of Harbor is the Aurela project, which will consist of two luxury hotels, the 200-room Kimpton boutique four-star operation and the other is LeMeridien, a 400-plus room tower.

“They’re slated to start moving dirt some time this fall,” said Kim. Time to completion is estimated at up to 30 months.

Further south on Harbor, near Garden Grove Boulevard, the city’s second The Habit hamburger eatery – the first is nearing completion on Chapman Avenue near Brookhurst Street in the Pavilion Plaza West center anchored by Sprouts Farmers Market – is planned for a pad location near the Burlington Factory store.

Near to that an existing AutoZone retail store will expand to 25,000 square feet and be a combination retail and warehousing operation.

Downtown/Civic Center: The Cottage Industries development, which is repurposing older single family homes into unique small businesses, is under construction. The first phase, the Farm Block, will “hopefully” be finished by late 2022 or early 2023.

That part of the Cottage Industries is fully leased and the tenants will include: 

  • Smoke Queen Barbecue – Asian American BBQ
  • GameGraft Brewing – hand-crafted beers, pub-style food and entertainment
  • Spotless Burgers/Spotless Ice Cream – Vegan fare
  • White Elephant – Modernized Thai food
  • Boba Guys – Artisanal “culturally inspired” milk teas
  • Eco Now – Zero waste and refill shop.

A NEW FIVE-STORY mixed-use project at Brookhurst Street and Garden Grove Boulevard (City of Garden Grove).

Main Street, the city’s original central business district, will receive an electrical upgrade which is not only allowing for “twinkle lights” in the trees but also will provide enough power to stage events in the area.

Chapman/Brookhurst: The same center now anchored by Sprouts will soon have neighbors which will include The Habit (see above), a Jersey Mike’s sub sandwich shop, an Ulta beauty/cosmetics store, a Nashville-style “hot” chicken eatery and ramen and boba shops.

In The Promenade mall across Chapman Avenue, Paradise Buffet will begin operations in the former Hometown Buffet location.

Valley View: West Garden Grove’s main commercial district is coming to new life as well. The long-closed Coco’s restaurant will become Estrada’s, a full-service Mexican restaurant. In that same center at Cerulean Avenue, the former Nifty After Fifty location becomes Pro Athletics with indoor batting cages,

North of Lampson Avenue on the west side, West Grove Center will soon house a Starbucks drive-through, a modernized bowling center called Mira Mesa Lanes and a taco eatery.

There’s more, of course, including at the Brookhurst Triangle, where a five-story mixed use project that combines retail, medical offices and apartment units is on its way.

All this development is showing that “Garden Grove is a great place for business,” said Kim. 



2 replies »

  1. How exciting for Ol’ Garden Grove. I hope I’m still going strong when the new Golden Age arrives. I hope I still have a nickel in my pocket and won’t be living behind some gas station… if we still HAVE gas!

  2. It won’t be long before Garden Grove will look like LA . More traffic too. This over building is ridiculous.

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