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Anaheim Finds New Uses for Industrial Area

A 120-room hotel proposal in Anaheim marks the latest update in the city’s plans for revitalizing the industrial area around South Anaheim Boulevard.

Plans for a five-story La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Hotel at 125 E. Ball Road were submitted by the city and owners of the site, Corona del Mar-based Pacific Resort Group.

The 1.6-acre parcel will include the hotel, as well as two four-story enclosed parking structures, with one-story underground, totaling 100 parking spaces, and a free-standing, 1,200-square-foot Starbucks drive-thru.

The site currently holds a two-story commercial building that formerly housed a Hahm Motorsports retail showroom that closed in 2010 and was used for storage until three years ago.

The La Quinta Inn is part of the city’s plans to promote new development for a nearly 1-mile stretch along Anaheim Boulevard starting at Ball Road, introducing a mix of housing and lodging options to replace aging commercial and industrial spaces.

The hotel development site sits north of the Santa Ana (5) Freeway and is a little less than a mile northeast of the Disneyland Resort.

Housing, Hotels

The 326-room Viv Hotel, which originally was called Radisson Blu Anaheim and rebranded in 2022, ­kicked off the city’s effort for the immediate area, when it opened in 2020.

Three additional apartment projects totaling more than 500 townhomes and affordable housing units will be completed in the next two years, replacing a former office park next to the hotel, which sits alongside the 5 Freeway and less than a mile from the planned La Quinta Inn.

Another housing development is proposed for a former Greyhound bus stop located across the street from the proposed La Quinta Inn.

The city of Anaheim is eyeing new hotel uses for other underutilized properties on the stretch of land, situated in the middle of popular Anaheim attractions including Disneyland Resort, the Anaheim Convention Center, Angel Stadium and downtown’s Packing District.

The $4 billion OCVibe mixed-use project, the largest development currently on the books in the city, is about 3 miles away.

While smaller than other redevelopment projects planned in Anaheim, the La Quinta Inn is the first hotel to be submitted from the area along Anaheim Boulevard since The Viv, and is another step in building up a central piece of the city that could attract more visitors in the long term, according to Anaheim spokesperson Mike Lyster.

“We need a wide range of hotels in the city,” Lyster told the Business Journal. “Anaheim will encourage a hotel where one works best.”

The final approval meeting for the proposed La Quinta Inn will take place on Dec. 4.

From Storage to Hotel

Upon approval, Pacific Resort Group plans to begin demolition of the remaining 10,530-square-foot building and break ground on the Starbucks portion of the site in January.

The Starbucks restaurant, a drive-thru only location with a walk-up window, will be constructed during phase one of the project and the new 67,715-square-foot hotel will begin construction in phase two.

Developers anticipate the drive-thru will take around a year to construct, with La Quinta Inn taking 16 months. A final delivery date is still up in the air with construction costs estimated to start around $22 million.

The hotel will be managed by hospitality firm Pacific Inns LLC, and is owned by Tracey and Marcus Chu of Pacific Resort with their father, Dave Chu, helping with the entitlement process.

Dave Chu has over 30 years of development experience in condo conversion, mainly in Las Vegas, Arizona and Reno. He handed the business over to his son Marcus three years ago.

This is the firm’s first California project and its first hotel redevelopment.

“I’m here building because I enjoy it, and I always saw it as a good piece of land,” Dave Chu told the Business Journal.

The family purchased the site in 2018 for $3.9 million and first filed development plans in 2019.

Dave Chu said the original plan was to convert the site into a storage facility for vendors serving Disneyland down the street.

When the pandemic hit Orange County in 2020, Marcus Chu halted the approval process, and picked things back up when Disneyland reopened. The city of Anaheim encouraged the firm to build a hotel instead due to climbing demand, with area hotel metrics surpassing pre-COVID levels in 2022.

Now, an observation deck is proposed for the second story of the inn for guest viewing of the Disneyland fireworks.

Site Updates

The Chus said there were multiple design modifications to their site plans leading up to the December hearing.

Before Starbucks, the Chus had plans to build a 6,000-square-foot food hall concept similar to the Anaheim Packing House. The original managers of the potential eatery went bankrupt, and the coffee chain entered as the new tenant.

Another major change was the location of the main entrance. The hotel was originally set to share the driveway with the neighboring Walmart. When the firm didn’t hear back for approvals from the retailer, Pacific Resort opted to divert the main entrance to Technology Circle instead.

The site is next to a shoe store and an industrial building.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.
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