Over the last few days two major crimes occurred in Santa Ana that were not reported by the media. In one case a man stole a car in Anaheim and led police on a pursuit that ended when he crashed into Santa Ana’s Walmart. And in another a security guard at Original Mike’s was shot.
While it is true that the O.C. Register is hurting and probably not well-staffed one has to wonder if the under-reporting of crime in Santa Ana is an election year tactic. Continue reading
For some reason the O.C. Register has not published an article about the shooting. Could it be that their new landlord, developer Mike Harrah, who founded Original Mike’s, put the kibosh on any reporting about this latest criminal incident at Original Mike’s? Continue reading
Santa Ana’s longtime Mayor, Miguel Pulido, invited me to sit at his table yesterday as he delivered his 19th annual State of the City address, at the Bowers Museum. This is an annual event sponsored by the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce. The proceeds of the event are used to fund various youth programs run by the Chamber of Commerce.
The room we were in was packed, which is always the case at these events. We were served a bizarre Americanized version of chilaquiles which was heaped on a slice of sauteed ham and included corn tortilla chips (with no chili seasoning), scrambled eggs, shredded Monterey jack cheese and cilantro. No salsa was served. There were also mini muffins, cream cheese and what looked like raspberry jam. Continue reading
Can you believe it? The O.C. Register is filing for bankruptcy again – after losing a huge court case and having to pay past due invoices to the tune of over $600K to a printer, according to the OC Weekly.
But there is far more to this story – developer Mike Harrah, who has been scrambling to find tenants for his proposed One Broadway Plaza office tower, is joining Rich Mirman, the CEO and Publisher of the O.C. Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise in a bid to by the company’s assets. Here are a few excerpts from the Freedom Communications press release about Mirman and Harrah’s gambit: Continue reading
Santa Ana artist Theo Hirsch has published a new post about the owner of the Santora building, Jack Jakosky, and I learned a few things while reading it.
It turns out that “Jakosky comes to the Santora building himself, with his girlfriend weekdays and weekends, in order to shut down the building and lock the bathrooms.” Jakosky is a very wealthy man, but he comes to Santa Ana himself to secure the Santora building? That is pretty odd.
While Jakosky has cleaned up and repaired the Santora he has also killed what used to be a fun art scene at the venerable arts building. As Theo pointed out, the Santora now looks like a jail. Continue reading
The Calacas Cafe recently relaunched after changing from a coffee shop to a Mexican cafeteria to compete in the changing downtown atmosphere, labeled by some as one of the hippest scenes in Orange County, according to the O.C. Register.
With a new bar or restaurant opening downtown just about every other month, the owner of Calacas, Rudy Cordova, said he felt he just couldn’t keep up.
No one can keep up. There are only so many hipsters around and the only way that Downtown Santa Ana’s hipster food and drinking – and arts – scene is going to survive is with a massive influx of new customers. Continue reading
City of Santa Ana
SANTA ANA, CA (June 16, 2014) – The Mayor and City Council will recognize Mike Harrah for being an exemplary citizen and pioneer in the City of Santa Ana.
Mike Harrah is a developer, restaurateur, entertainer, historical preservationist and visionary who strives to “look beyond the ordinary and transform the impossible into reality”.
Since 1989, Mike has been the president of Caribou Industries, a company that has restored and operated more than 4 million square feet of commercial office space and historical homes in Santa Ana. Continue reading
Families whose kids attends two charter schools in Santa Ana are having a very tough time getting to and from El Sol Academy and the Orange County School of the Arts because of the rehabilitation of Broadway.
The rehabilitation of Broadway from Civic Center Drive to Main Place Drive includes the replacement of the water main on Broadway and Washington Avenue. Continue reading
The Santora Arts Building, the iconic Spanish Colonial style building that anchors Santa Ana’s downtown Artists Village, has been sold to Newport Beach resident Jack Jakosky, according to the Voice of OC.
Jakosky said in a brief interview that he wants to rekindle the building’s art scene, which has been declining in recent years as other businesses fill studios vacated by artists. Continue reading
Don’t be fooled for one minute – when the Newsong Church pulled out of escrow and walked away from their agreement to buy Downtown Santa Ana’s Santora building it really did not have much to do with the owner of the Santora, Mike Harrah. They pulled out, according to an insider I spoke to on Friday, because they had enough of the crazed artists at the Santora – and their pugnacious leader, Alicia Rojas. I can’t blame Newsong’s leaders one bit for getting out of Dodge.
The shame of it is that Newsong would have brought a huge influx of new blood into a Downtown Santa Ana that is starting to get a bit stale. Oh sure we have a bunch of new high-end restaurants and plenty of hipster bars to get drunk at (which is ironic as what set off redevelopment in the area originally was former City Manager Dave Ream’s dislike for the Mexican bars that were once ubiquitous in Downtown Santa Ana). Continue reading
“The California Supreme Court has declined to hear an activist group’s lawsuit to block construction of One Broadway Plaza, a planned 37-story office tower near downtown Santa Ana,” according to the Voice of OC.
The Coalition for Accountable Government Ethics (CAGE) had sued to stop developer Mile Harrah from proceeding with the project, arguing that the Santa Ana City Council illegally removed a condition that Harrah lease 50 percent of the building before beginning construction. Continue reading
Joining the Occupy movement was a very bad idea for Santa Ana’s artists
“A core group who’ve been in the Santora for years are growing increasingly worried that building owner Mike Harrah will push them out as rents in Santa Ana’s gentrifying downtown move upward,” according to the Voice of OC.
I met with many of these artists back before they formed a group called the Artists Village Alliance of Santa Ana (AVASA). I had advised them to join together and represent their community with a unified voice. Unfortunately, AVASA quickly was taken over by the most radical of the downtown artists – and they stupidly got involved with the Occupy movement.
Today the artists have no voice – and it is their own damn fault. Attacking Harrah continues their stupidity as he has no contractual reason to keep the artists who are not paying their rent. Continue reading
Mike Harrah can start building his One Broadway Plaza Tower now!
“The 4th District Court of Appeal last week reversed an Orange County Superior Court ruling that had put a stop to the construction of One Broadway Plaza, a 37-story office tower in Santa Ana that voters approved in 2005,” according to the Voice of OC.
The Appellate Court decided that the voters voted for a zoning ordinance, not for a development agreement. What this means is that developer Mike Harrah can finally start building his One Broadway Plaza tower. That means over two thousand union construction jobs are on the way. Continue reading
A Superior court judge has sided with Santa Ana’s Usual Suspects, derailing the One Broadway Project development and forcing its developer, Mike Harrah, to return to the ballot box, according to the Voice of OC blog.
The Santa Ana City Council amended the developer agreement last year, allowing Harrah to start the project without preleasing fifty percent of the building. However the judge ruled that this amendment was illegal because the voters approved the project, via Measure A, under a different set of rules. Continue reading