Despite the Los Angeles Angels‘ desire for an alternate plan, the City of Anaheim is proceeding with a development proposal for the land surrounding Angels Stadium.
In recent weeks, signs have pointed toward the Angels and Anaheim discussing a new lease for a renovated Angels Stadium. The issue, however, is that the city contends that it cannot pay for significant upgrades, leading the Angels to seek development options for sections of Angels Stadium’s parking lot. To make their proposal–which would contribute to the funding of the upgrades–more viable, the Angels asked the city to consider nixing a plan from LT Global Investment that would include housing and entertainment development near the ballpark.
Alas, the city’s planning commission went in a different direction on Monday, voting by a 4-0 margin to recommend LT Global Investment’s proposal to the city council. Both LT Global Investment and the city contend that Angels Stadium can support a development from the Angels in addition to this plan, and the city says it will continue lease negotiations with the Angels. However the Angels, are at least for now, frustrated by the planning commission’s decision. More from the Los Angeles Times:
In a letter to the city, Angels attorney Allan Abshez wrote that the project would “cannibalize the Angels’ existing food, beverage and retail operations at Angel Stadium” and “fundamentally undermine the Angels’ negotiations to remain in Anaheim over the long term.”
Those negotiations have focused on the Angels as the developer of a “sports-entertainment-hotel” project, and the team argued that approving a similar project on adjacent property would make it less likely that a second such project could be profitable enough for the team to fund stadium renovations.
The city has ruled out paying for stadium upgrades. The negotiations have focused on the team developing part of the parking lot, then using profits from that development to recoup the costs of stadium renovations.
Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl told the planning commission that the project approved Monday “irreparably harms” the stadium and the team and would be an impediment to further development for a decade “at a minimum.”