Anaheim Mayor Wants To Explore Potential New Forms Of Transit
By: Joseph Pimentel, BisNow Los Angeles
Date: March 11, 2019
The mayor of Anaheim said he is exploring building a transportation system that would be able to bring thousands of people into the city’s popular Resort District and up-and-coming Platinum Triangle area. During his State of the City address March 5, newly elected Mayor Harry Sidhu said he is creating a Transit Options Task Force “to study how to move thousands of people between these two exciting areas of our city.”
“As we continue to see new investment and new development in both the Anaheim Resort and the Platinum Triangle, it is time to take a fresh look at all options to foster connectivity and mobility between these two economic powerhouses,” Sidhu said during his speech at the City National Grove of Anaheim. “Transportation and mobility connections continue to evolve. It is time we update our thinking and our knowledge on all the options.”
Sidhu’s speech comes as the city continues to see tremendous investment and business growth, especially in the Resort District, which is centered around Disneyland Resort and the Anaheim Convention Center, and the Platinum Triangle, the area that is home to the Angels Major League Baseball team and the Ducks National Hockey League team.
During the speech, Sidhu said he continues to negotiate with the Angels for a long-term deal so the team can remain in Anaheim. The Angels had terminated their lease on the city-owned Angel Stadium last year through 2019 but reworked a deal to remain through 2020 shortly after Sidhu was elected mayor.
Sidhu said there has been a tremendous amount of economic and business activity in the city since 2017. Disneyland is slated to open its much-hyped Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at the end of May. A JW Marriott and Westin Anaheim four-star luxury resort is expected to open in 2020.
The Platinum Triangle, an 820-acre area about a mile or two away from the Resort District, has seen more than $1B in multifamily, office, retail and entertainment commercial real estate investment.
Citywide, Anaheim brought in 168,700 jobs in 2018, up by almost 3,000 jobs from 2017. Office investments increased by 27% to 1M SF from 2017 to 2018, he said.
More than 24.4 million visitors visited Anaheim in 2018 and the economic impact from the city’s convention center — one of the largest on the West Coast — was more than $1.5B, he said.
To continue fostering new investment and development in the Resort District and Platinum Triangle, Sidhu said transportation is key. He gave examples of the city of Los Angeles flirting with an idea to create a monorail system from LA to the San Fernando Valley, West Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport; an Uber Air concept in Dallas and Dubai; Elon Musk’s tunnel system in Hawthorne and Walt Disney World’s development of a gondola system to connects its hotels in Orlando.
“There are so many options,” Sidhu said. “We don’t need to stick to any one system. We just know that between our thriving resort and the incredible sports and entertainment district that will come from the investment we expect soon in the Platinum Triangle, we need a connection.”
The city has already sent out a request for proposals from companies with experience and expertise in a multi-modal transportation plan.
Sidhu said the goal is to ensure “employees, residents and guests can move quickly between these destinations without being bogged down in traffic.”
As the city sees more business and investment growth and a possible new transportation system, Sidhu said the various taxes, licenses and fees from those businesses that normally go into the city’s general fund will be reinvested for the residents of Anaheim.
He said he wants to earmark at least $250M of new city revenue to the support the city’s neighborhoods.”