OC Going Big

Life in the big city will soon becoming to the streets of three cities in the OC. However, each city is trying to go for vertical urban growth each in its own different way.

Platinum Triangle Project, or as City Councilmember Harry Siduh is quoted as saying “Orange County’s version of Manhattan.” Mayor Pringle’s pet project to grow the city of Anaheim from just a suburb of Los Angeles to a major city has already started construction. The Stadium Lofts is nearly complete and the buildings have been razed for the start of the construction of high rises. Gene Autry Way will be moved and expanded to create an artery connection between The Anaheim Resort District and the Angel Stadium/Pond Area. Anaheim has a head start on both Irvine and Santa Ana as we have two professional sports teams playing with the name Anaheim in front (or in the case of the Angels, still attached at the end), a famous landmark know worldwide: Disneyland, and a large Convention Center which plays hosts to some major conferences every year. The Pond is one of the top concert venues in the World and we have a large amount of hotel space. Anaheim is also contending for either the Democratic or Republican National Convention in 2008, if it succeeds then the quest to be a big city will be won, but the battle over not being called Los Angeles will continue.

Santa Ana:
The city which is mostly in the center of the County and is home to the County Government. Santa Ana has already survived a fight over One Broadway Plaza and hopes to revitalize the area around the County Administrative buildings with urban lofts. Cal State Fullerton’s Grand Central Art Center has attracted some nightlife to the area bringing people back for live concerts and events. The city council for Santa Ana will consider this week a new city motto “Santa Ana – Downtown Orange County.” Santa Ana has a long way to go before the rest of the OC will want to live in the area.

Ah, LarryLand, Home of the “Great Park” and the UC Irvine Campus. The city has started their ambitious downtown renewal with the construction of lofts and apartments surrounding the Irvine Spectrum Center (The place where I’m writing this post). The Great Park will bring a Central Park atmosphere to the city and will provide additional resources for an expanded Cal State Fullerton-Irvine Campus location and museums; it may even have a light rail system connecting the Great Park to the Spectrum area.

With three cities each wanting to develop a downtown experience, it will be interesting to see if all three can manage the increasing needs of transportation, traffic, and infrastructure improvements which will be needed to prevent the type of traffic that plagues the real life Manhattan.

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