Rendering of GardenWalk hotels.

Rendering of GardenWalk hotels.

The GardenWalk Hotels agreement is on the May 14 agenda of the Anaheim City Council.  The cap on the total TOT rebate is still $158 million (which is a tricky number that merits further explanation in another post), but the 80%-20% split has been modified to 70%-30% stretched out over a longer period of time of 20 years (which actually makes it more expensive for the developer). This applies to two hotels — a  convention hotel of least 466 rooms and a resort hotel of at least 350 rooms. These hotels will be built separately in phases, and the TOT rebate “ends on the earlier of twenty years from completion of construction or, provision of assistance up to a not to exceed amount of approximately $158 million gross. The net present value (NPV) of the maximum assistance under the Agreements ($46.6 million) represents 16% of development costs and compares quite favorably with our Southern California competitors as noted above.”

Unlike the earlier GardenWalk assistance agreement, this time the staff is recommending a “yes” vote by the council. Here’s the staff report’s conclusion:

“As noted in the Developer’s hotel economic analysis, and validated by the City’s independent real estate economist, hotel development of a luxury caliber at the GardenWalk site will bring a number of positive benefits to both the City of Anaheim and the greater hospitality community. In addition to increasing tax revenues, enhancing our existing hotel supply and attracting highly rated conventions to the City, the hotel development will also create and support approximately 1,300 permanent local jobs annually, as well as 3,000 temporary jobs related to construction. Moreover, the proposed GardenWalk hotels will significantly enhance and support the retail, dining and entertainment outlets at the repositioned GardenWalk center as originally envisioned. Finally, the proposed agreement poses no risk to the General Fund while serving as an important step in revitalizing the City’s tourist infrastructure and enhancing our destination that serves as the primary economic engine of Anaheim, benefiting the City as a whole.”

And then the reality that amazingly and relentlessly escapes the intellectual grasp of opponents who claim it “diverts $158 from fill-in-the-blank“:

City assistance is conditioned upon development of the hotels. Accordingly, at such time as the Developer may complete construction of hotels consistent with the Agreements, there will be a positive increase in revenues to the General Fund.

Here’s the link to the supporting documents.

Charter Review Committee
Also on the discussion agenda is the Charter Review Committee proposed by Councilman Jordan Brandman at his swearing-in ceremony. The item reads:

“Approve conducting a review of the City’s Charter, direct staff to commence a Charter review process, and direct staff to prepare a resolution for City Council consideration that outlines the creation of a citizens advisory committee, referred to as the Charter Review Committee, scope of work of such committee, including potential areas of amendment to the Charter for committee review/recommendation, and define a time-frame for delivery of a final report with the Committee’s recommendations and authorize staff to receive applications for the selection and appointment of a Charter Review Committee.”

Here’s the staff report.

Given that the just-completed Citizens Advisory Committee on Election recommendations necessarily entail amending the city charter, I’m curious as too how this broader committee plays into that.