Brainiac: Garden Grove mayor breaks news on new hotels, a food court, and what’s finally happening with the Rusty Skeleton

Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones had a lot of news to deliver in his recent State of the City speech, from new hotels coming to Harbor Boulevard to the tenants of a trendy food hall built in shipping containers to what’s finally – finally – going to happen to the half-finished building everybody knows as the “Rusty Skeleton.”

The city’s long-standing plans to build up the hotel corridor along Harbor Boulevard was the subject of one of Jones’ biggest announcements, revealing the names of the first two of three hotels that will eventually be built on 4.3 acres on Harbor Boulevard next to the Target store and across the street from the existing Hyatt Regency Orange County.

It will be, Jones said, “the largest development project the city has ever seen with an investment of approximately $400 million.”

He described it as a “high-lifestyle resort project,” and said construction will begin later this year. The project will have three new hotel towers with 769 rooms, almost 40,000 square feet of meeting space, and 36,000 square feet of retail and commercial.

“At this time, I am elated to unveil the names of the first two hotel flags that have been secured as part of this amazing new project,” Jones said. “The first tower will be a Le Meridien Hotel by Marriott. The new Grove District hotel will offer approximately 400 rooms, a rooftop bar, two restaurants, and 30,000 square feet of conference space.

“The second tower will be a Kimpton Hotel,” he continued. “The San Francisco-based brand that introduced the boutique hotel concept in America … will offer 200 rooms, a rooftop bar, a restaurant, and 10,000 square feet of conference space.”

The much-anticipated Steelcraft Garden Grove, an outdoor food hall with retailers operating out of renovated shipping containers, also made news during the mayor’s speech. Ground-breaking for the project on Euclid Street next to City Hall will take place on March 5, and the names of the businesses were also unveiled during his speech.

They include the Long Beach craft beer-makers Beachwood Brewing; Dark Horse Coffee Roasters; the all-day breakfast spot The Nest; The Chick ‘N Shack, serving Southeast Asian chicken-and-rice dishes; craft tacos at Renegade Taco; Urban Pie, a wood-burning pizza and Italian food place; Cauldron Ice Cream; and Honey & Butter, a cookie-maker.

Finally, the eyesore of a half-finished multistory building that’s been standing in the middle of town for years was addressed.

“The most common question I get asked on a regular basis is, ‘Hey, what’s going on with that big rusty skeleton near Brookhurst and Garden Grove Boulevard?’ ” Jones said. “Finally, after many years and countless legal battles, I am thrilled to make a formal announcement that a new project is about to move forward.”

That project, which had been hinted about over the last year, will include about 400 affordable apartments for seniors with about 12,000 square feet of retail and commercial space on the ground floor.

To read Jones’ speech or watch video of it, go to ci.garden-grove.ca.us/state-of-the-city-2018

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