Anaheim’s Honda Center set for $3bn entertainment district

Plans have been unveiled for ocV!BE, a $3bn (£2.4bn/€2.7bn), 115-acre mixed-use community and live entertainment district that will surround Honda Center, home of the Anaheim Ducks NHL ice hockey team.

The district is the vision of the Samueli Family, which owns the Ducks. It is hoped that the wide-ranging district can open in 2024 and be fully completed in time for Los Angeles’ hosting of the Olympic Games in 2028, when Honda Center will stage indoor volleyball events.

OcV!BE will surround Honda Center with a full range of lifestyle and public amenities, as well as live entertainment venues, including a new 6,000-capacity concert facility, a 68,000-square-foot food hall, restaurants, retail, two new hotels with 650 rooms in total, a 325,000-square-foot office tower, three unique public plazas, 2,800 residential apartment units that will include a 15-per-cent dedication to affordable housing, 30 acres of open space and parks, and a network of pedestrian bridges and walkways.

Nearly 13,000 construction jobs would be created during the development, along with 3,300 permanent jobs upon completion. Analysis carried out by public finance and development economics firm DTA has predicted that the development would generate more than $2bn in a one-time economic impact.

The project would also generate over $400m in annual recurring economic impact and revenue generated will assist the City of Anaheim in its COVID-19 recovery efforts, as well as enhance neighbourhoods and public safety.

Tim Ryan will serve as chief executive of the newly-created ocV!BE Sports & Entertainment company, which will manage the development and operation of the district. Michael Schulman, managing director of the Samueli Family office, will serve as the company’s executive chairman.

The Ducks and the City of Anaheim signed an agreement in 2018 to extend the team’s commitment to the city for up to an additional 50 years, paving the way for a series of private acquisitions by its ownership and leading to control of 115 acres surrounding Honda Center.

Dan Young, lead master planner for the project, said: “The master plan of this 115-acre district will create a liveable, balanced community that has long been envisioned for the Anaheim Platinum Triangle. ocV!BE will also link the district to the region’s broader assets including Angel Stadium and the Platinum Triangle, the growing Anaheim Resort District, and the largest Convention Center on the West Coast.”

The district’s urban park plaza will house the new 6,000-capacity concert venue, while the southern-facing plaza will act as a hub of sports-focused activity with elevated walkways. The northern plaza will feature a collection of smaller club-style venues.

Jay Burress, chief executive of Visit Anaheim, said: “ocV!BE will transform Anaheim as a destination. This exciting project will assist Anaheim in attracting and retaining guests, particularly conventioneers, to dine, shop, stay and be entertained in Anaheim, generating significant revenue for the local hospitality industry and the City of Anaheim.”

The announcement comes after the City of Anaheim earlier this week unveiled plans to transform the area around Angel Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels Major League Baseball (MLB) team, into a mixed-use development featuring parks, shops, residential spaces and restaurants.

The Angel Stadium has been dubbed ‘The Big A: 2050’ and would look to keep the Angels in Anaheim for the next 30-plus years. Angel Stadium is located just across the road from Honda Center and the development of the two sites would form part of the city’s planning for the Platinum Triangle.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times newspaper, Young said that the Ducks and the Angels worked together to avoid duplicating development, with the two projects set to complement each other.

“We’re very compatible and synergistic in that way,” Young said. “We are very excited about what they’re doing over there. It will be a great complement.”

Images: ocV!BE