The Disneyland Resort had announced plans to build a 700-room, four-star hotel next to the Disneyland Hotel, on the site formerly occupied by several buildings on the western edge of the Downtown Disney shopping district. ESPN Zone, Rainforest Cafe, Earl of Sandwich, and the AMC movie theaters recently closed to make way for the project.
The trouble is that, when Disney originally applied for the tax break that Anaheim offered to developers of luxury hotels within the city, the resort said that the hotel would be built at 1401 Disneyland Drive, which is a site just north of the Disneyland Hotel. However, the project's current site has the address 1601 Disneyland Drive.
A minor detail? In contract law, no detail is minor. If Disneyland got the tax break specifically for a hotel at 1401 Disneyland Drive, it can't apply it to a hotel at 1601 Disneyland Drive any more than you can use a one-day ticket to Knott's Berry Farm to get into Disneyland.
That said, the City of Anaheim easily could amend the deal to swap the address for Disneyland's hotel. Except... the current Anaheim city council isn't the same one that approved the original tax break. The new council includes members who are more likely to see such tax deals as corporate welfare than community investments. The address discrepancy provides them the excuse they needed to kill a giveaway they won seats on the council by campaigning against.
And without the deal, worth a reported $267 million, Disney says it will not move forward with the project.
"The City's inexplicable delay in raising the hotel's location as an issue despite knowing about the location for more than eight months and participating in multiple project meetings, coupled with the City’s unwillingness to work together in a cooperative fashion to address it, further demonstrates the ongoing challenging business environment in Anaheim," Disney said in a letter to the city, which was provided to Theme Park Insider via a Disney spokesperson.
The location switch came after Disneyland killed its Eastern Gateway project, again after squabbles with the city and local businesses. That project would have seen Disney building the new parking garage on land east of the current resort and building a pedestrian bridge over Harbor Blvd.
The Developing OC blog earlier this week reported on the City of Anaheim's environmental report for the project, which revealed additional details about the hotel, including that the architect of record for the project was Marnell Architecture and not WDI. Marnell is best known for several Las Vegas developments, including the Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas.
The new hotel at Disneyland is part of ongoing development at the resort, which include the construction of a new parking garage next to the Mickey and Friends structure and, of course, the new Star Wars Galaxy's Edge and Marvel-themed superhero lands, coming to Disneyland next year and Disney California Adventure the year following, respectively.Tweet
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