Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Now that the Santa Ana Planning Commission has voted, by a margine of 3-2, to approve the changes requested in the developer agreement for the One Broadway Plaza development, by developer Mike Harrah, what is the Santa Ana City Council going to do?

Here is how the Planning Commission voted.  Thanks to our blogger Rob Cook for providing this information!

Frank Acosta………………………ward 5……………no
Patrick Yrarrazaval……………..ward 2…………….no

Mario Turner……………………. ward 4…………….yes
Michael Walters……………….. ward 6…………….yes
James Gartner…………………. ward 3…………….yes

Victoria Betancourt……….. Mayor rep…………absent
Eric Alderete………………… …ward 1…………. absent

The vote was quite interesting.  The Commissioners who represent Council Members Michele Martinez and Claudia Alvarez, voted no. 

Martinez actually worked on Measure A, which asked the voters to approve this development.  And Alvarez has received significant campaign contributions, over the years, from Harrah. 

Does the no vote by their commissioners signal some trepidation about the changes by Martinez and Alvarez?  Or will they overlook the vote and simply vote to accept the Planning Commission’s vote?

As our blogger Sean Mill has pointed out, the people already voted yes on this project.  That said, the changes in the developer agreement are extensive.  Do those changes mean the issue should be put back on the ballot again?

My personal sentiment is that the City Council has the right to make this decision without additional approval by the voters.  That said, I still think they should take this opportunity to get something back from Harrah in return.

In particular, it is clear that the scope of this project is too grand.  Harrah should build a shorter building.  There simply is not enough demand for 88 stories of new office space in downtown Santa Ana.

Or the City Council could give Harrah more options by allowing mixed use at this building.  I would love to see Harrah be able to build condos in OBP in addition to office space. 

And wouldn’t it be grand to build a public park on top of the building?  Perhaps with an observatory?  Just thinking out loud, but that would go a long ways towards mollifying residents who want more green space.

The one thing we should not do is villify the Council Members for taking whatever stand they end up taking.  We elected them to make these tough decisions.  We should not crucify them if we don’t like the way they end up voting. 

If you are concerned about this project then be sure to attend the next City Council meeting, which I believe should be coming up on June 21.  Or contact your Council Members now and let them know how you feel about One Broadway Plaza.  Here are their email addresses:

mpulido@santa-ana.org
calvarez@santa-ana.org
cbustamante@santa-ana.org
dbenavides@santa-ana.org
mimartinez@santa-ana.org
stinajero@santa-ana.org
vsarmiento@santa-ana.org

Now please keep in mind that asking the City Council to disallow OBP is not an option.  The folks who comprise the “Just Say No” Coalition will get nowhere with that tactic.

Instead, be sincere and suggest changes to the developer agreement.  The City Council members may actually take note of your suggestions!

Click here to learn more about OBP.



By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

2 thoughts on “How will the Santa Ana City Council vote on Mike Harrah’s OBP changes?”
  1. I work in down town Santa Ana and I see a lot of vacant buildings. The International Business Center seems mostly vacant, does anyone know what goes on in that building? Did they really have to destroy those historic homes to make room for Harrah’s tower? I admire and appreciate all Mr. Harrah has done for Santa Ana, but this seems like a mistake. Why build a huge building if it can’t even get a 50% occupancy commitment, maybe it just isn’t the right time for such a project.

  2. After reading your article, I’m not suprise of any councilmember, “they do a good PR
    in elections season” after that time, they don”t know you.
    I was one of those to contribute , call one day and they dont event return your call.
    and Mr. Harrah has help the city in good and bad times, like all of us , in many different ways.

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