City cuts new affordable housing deal with Moreno on Angel Stadium sale

SRB Management to build up to 104 units onsite, city eyes 1,000 homes more in other locales within 25 years

Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno and rendering of new stadium site (SRB Management, Getty Images)
Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno and rendering of new stadium site (SRB Management, Getty Images)

The City of Anaheim will add more than 1,100 affordable homes because of its sale of Angel Stadium – the question is, where?

Proposed changes in a development agreement between the city and the stadium buyer SRB Management say it could take as long as a quarter century to build up to 104 affordable homes at the stadium site, the Orange County Register reported. And it’s not known where 1,000 more homes would be built.

The city’s planning commission and City Council must approve the proposed change to the development agreement.

The original deal would have sold the 150-acre stadium site to Angels owner Arte Moreno’s business partnership for $320 million, with more than half of that credited back to the buyer in exchange for community benefits, including 466 affordable homes at a cost of $124 million.

But both sides agreed last month to a court-enforceable stipulated judgment that requires the city to spend $96 million of sale proceeds to build up to 1,000 affordable units offsite within five years.

The original deal would have built 777 units of affordable housing at the stadium site, while the new agreement would build 1,084 units or more around the city.

“We will get more units out of it, but even more important, we will get more units sooner,” Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster told the newspaper.

The judgment followed a legal dispute with the state over whether Anaheim broke an affordable housing law by not offering to sell the stadium as surplus property to developers of affordable housing. The state issued a notice of violation. Anaheim maintains it broke no laws.

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Instead of crediting those millions back to the buyer for onsite affordable homes, the city will get them in cash when escrow closes. The settlement also says that the remaining $27.7 million credited to SRB would fund a then-unknown amount of affordable housing as part of the stadium development.

The updated development agreement spells out how many on-site units the city would get for that $27.7 million: 84 apartments for very low-income families, which require a larger subsidy; or 104 apartments split between low- and very low-income categories.

City and state officials also have said they will use the originally planned 466 on-site affordable homes as an aspirational goal, seeking any tax credits, grants or partnerships available. There’s no legal requirement to build that many homes.

Cesar Covarrubias, executive director of the Kennedy Commission, a nonprofit affordable housing advocacy group, called it “very problematic” that the proposed changes remove any development milestones, saying its common for large projects to include some affordable units in each phase of development.

“It would be up to someone 25 years down the road to enforce it, and the need for affordable housing is today,” Covarrubias said

Provisions of the deal that remain unchanged by the agreement with the state include the total sale price of $320 million; the right to develop up to 943 hotel rooms and more than 4.4 million square feet of office and commercial development; and the obligation to renovate or replace the stadium that was built in 1966.

[Orange County Register] – Dana Bartholomew

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