GardenWalk Hotels - 7 years behind schedule

From the OC Register (Save Anaheim comments in bold):

ANAHEIM – A developer may wait up to two years to begin construction on a pair of luxury hotels at a Disney-area mall with the final project slated to wrap up by mid-2022 -- seven years behind schedule.

Bill O'Connel as the Master of the House

The Anaheim Planning Commission is scheduled Monday to consider whether to split two proposed GardenWalk hotels into separate phases. If approved, construction of the first hotel wouldn't begin until May 2015, while work on the second hotel would be pushed back to November 2019. Why is the planning commission even considering this when the developer has no financing or subsidy deal in place?

A developer plans to build hotels at the Anaheim GardenWalk property, seen in 2010.

Concurrent construction of the hotels was initially scheduled to begin this May and completed by November 2015.

The postponement is needed "because current economic conditions have made securing financing for the construction of the hotels extremely difficult," wrote Ajesh Patel, manager of GarenWalk Hotel LLC, in a letter delivered in February to Anaheim's planning department. Funny, Larry Lake was able to secure financing without taxpayer funded subsidies. Also, where is the study that shows financing is still difficult to obtain? Are we just to take Mr. Patel's word on it?

Patel said his company remains committed to the project, but that it would be "impossible" to meet the current schedule.

An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled last December that the Anaheim City Council violated the state's open-meetings law when it approved a tax subsidy of up to $158 million for the developer of the GardenWalk hotels.

The deal was advertised only as a "discussion" item on the council's agenda in January 2012. Opponents called the plan a "giveaway," while supporters said it was needed as a way to lure high-spending tourists wanting to stay in four- to five-star quality hotels.

A proposed subsidy plan is expected to come back before the City Council later this month, according to a planning commission report.

The Planning Commission meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday at Anaheim City Hall, 200 S. Anaheim Blvd.