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Anaheim and Long Beach

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Sarah Tully of the Orange County Register brings us another piece on the ongoing dispute in Anaheim between the tourist businesses and the housing developers over land in the Anaheim Resort District.  This time, SOAR, the pro-tourism group, has offered a report showing that a hotel and retail complex would generate more tax money than a housing project.

A housing complex would create about $1.5 million a year, mostly property taxes, upon completion in 2013, but about $1.4 million of that would be needed to provide city services to those residents, such as police and fire, according to the report by CB Richard Ellis.

But a hotel and commercial project would make about $12.7 million when completed in 2019. After expenditures, about $9.3 million would be left over for uses throughout Anaheim, the report states.

Hotel taxes are the largest part of the city’s budget.

While I know there would still be opposition to new Disney projects and housing developers would still want to rezone Anaheim Resort District area so that they could build expensive housing, I can’t help but think Disney would be having an easier time of it these days if it had built a better park than California Adventure and a better second park in France, too.  It is an example of how a decision may look good for business at the time, such as putting less capital into a new project, but it could have significant negative consequences that don’t show up right away on the balance sheets.  I guess it doesn’t matter to the individuals who have long moved on to other corporations and ventures, leaving Disney shareholders, employees, and Anaheim residents and businesses to deal with the fallout.

In the early 1990s, Disney proposed a more abitious theme park for Anaheim, and a project around the Queen Mary in Long Beach that served as the basis for Tokyo DisneySea.  Some say Disney never intended to build both projects and was just pitting the two cities against each other.  I have no way of knowing if that is true.  Projects along the coast in California face a ton of red tape.  Disney ended up getting out of Long Beach, and things have been tough for the Queen Mary ever since.

Annette Haddad of the Los Angeles Times reports on the latest setback.

As for Anaheim, refer to my modest proposal that I offered in my column in May.