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Price of Chinese Developer’s Platinum Plan: $450M

A Chinese developer has proposed a mixed-use project next to Angel Stadium that could rival L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles in terms of scope and variety of uses.

An affiliate of Hong Kong-based LT Commercial Real Estate Ltd. recently submitted conceptual design plans with the city of Anaheim for a massive development that would go up on a nearly 14-acre parcel it owns at the northeast corner of State College Boulevard and Orangewood Avenue.

The project, as currently envisioned, would run about 1.7 million square feet and include a 28-story condo tower with 170 units and a 26-story, 300-room luxury hotel.

About 460,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space—including an ice skating rink, indoor surfing park, and boutique cinemas—have also been proposed, along with 430 midrise apartment units and 60,000 square feet of office space.

LT Commercial, whose U.S. operations are based in Los Angeles, bought the land for the project last year for $28.4 million. The developer has dubbed the project LTG Platinum Center. It would take on the mantle of flagship in the U.S. for the developer, which also operates under the LT Global name.

The company, to date, has focused its efforts in China.

Early estimates put a nearly $450 million price tag on the development, according to city filings.

The developer indicated in filings that it would like to begin construction next year and could finish up work by 2020.

It’s the first significant Platinum Triangle development proposed since the recent recession that isn’t focused on multifamily uses, and the first since then to include high-rise uses among its components.

The 28-story condo tower and the 26-story hotel proposed for LTG Platinum Center would become Anaheim’s two tallest buildings, while the condo building would eclipse the under-construction 200 Spectrum Center office tower in Irvine as Orange County’s tallest building.

Early Stages

The development is still in the early stages of the planning process, and LT Global is working with Newport Beach-based development group Brooks Street to get the necessary approvals for the project.

A new environmental impact report for the site is likely necessary, among other requirements. A 12- to 15-month review process would likely be needed before the developer could get the needed approvals and move on with a groundbreaking, according to Scott Koehm, associate planner with the city of Anaheim.

Traffic, parking and density concerns are some of the larger issues facing the project, he said.

The developer’s conceptual plans include using 2,000 parking spots on land at Angel Stadium, an “urban commercial signage program,” and a pedestrian connection between the center of the development’s retail plaza and the baseball stadium.

The project, as currently envisioned, is expected to generate 1,352 permanent jobs, along with 3,126 construction-related jobs during the project’s buildout, according to studies done on behalf of LT Global.

A-Town Redo

The project—described by the developer in city filings as a “regional mixed-use Town Center”—is a return of sorts to a former vision for the onetime industrial site.

LNR Property LLC and its onetime sister company Lennar Corp.—both based in Miami but with large operations in Orange County—paid a reported $55 million for the site in 2006.

The property was initially envisioned as one of the more notable developments in the Platinum Triangle, the roughly 380-acre former industrial area surrounding the baseball stadium.

The nearly 14-acre site originally was expected to hold 878 units for sale—a combination of high-rise condo towers and midrise townhouses—as well as retail uses under the A-Town Stadium name.

The last housing downturn put those plans on hold.

LNR took over full ownership of the site from Lennar about two years ago and began re-entitling it for a less-dense development featuring brownstone-type apartment buildings.

No Continuation

The plans filed by LT Global are anything but a continuation of the midrise apartment projects that have sprung up in the Platinum Triangle in the past five or so years.

The conceptual plans include a “mixture of entertainment, leisure activities, cultural uses, restaurants and traditional retail” as part of the roughly 460,000 square feet of retail space, according to filings with the city.

The goal, according to LT Global, is to “create a vibrant destination that will have a regional draw.”

The project’s retail component is nearly the same size as that of the last big shopping center to open in Anaheim: the 466,417-square-foot Anaheim GardenWalk, which is near Disneyland and the Anaheim Convention Center.

Anaheim GardenWalk opened in 2008 amid the recession and has been plagued by high vacancies for much of that time.

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.

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