There are just two days left before the Anaheim city council holds its only public hearing on the Los Angeles Angels stadium land sale and then votes on it, and instead of getting answers to the outstanding questions about the project, the questions are starting to pile up like cordwood:
- The actual price paid for the stadium and surrounding land could be as little as half the announced $325 million, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin, citing “two people familiar with the deal but unwilling to discuss it publicly because the Anaheim City Council has not voted to approve the documents that will determine the final price.” Shaikin didn’t specify whether this massive price drop would be because of those credits for building parks and affordable housing that were previously announced — he noted that a previous affordable-housing development in Anaheim received $100,000 in city subsidies per unit, which if Angels owner Arte Moreno built 1,500 units would come to $150 million in discounts, but that’s a lot of speculation there when we don’t know what the project will even look like yet or who will build it. (Under the deal, Moreno would be allowed to flip the stadium site to another developer if he wants.)
- The city did release an “economic impact analysis” that projects more than $3.4 billion worth of construction costs for the project, mostly for rental apartments and office space, but without further details. Also, that’s only what a development consultant to the Angels came up with back in August, so there’s no way of knowing if it’s what Moreno or his development partners would actually build.
- The economic impact analysis also includes a year-by-year breakdown of projected tax revenue from the project, with property tax revenues, for example, kicking in at just $498,000 starting in 2022 and then rising to over $10 million a year by 2035. Is that because construction will take that long, or because property values are projected to rise that much over the next 15 years? Is there zero property tax revenue projected for 2021 because the Angels’ stadium itself will remain tax-exempt despite the team taking possession of it, or because the stadium isn’t included in this projection, or what? And do all these numbers account for substitution, or do they assume that all this new housing and office and retail space won’t cannibalize people living in homes and renting office space and buying stuff elsewhere? The study is silent on these matters, and it’s hard to interrogate a Powerpoint.
- Two previous Anaheim mayors, Tom Tait and Tom Daly, came out against the land sale yesterday in an op-ed in the Voice of OC, arguing that “crucial information about this real estate deal is missing, and what little has been made public appears stunningly one sided against Anaheim taxpayers.”
The Anaheim council is set to hold its hearing, and its vote, starting at 2 pm Pacific time this Friday. You should be able to watch live here, if you feel like yelling at your computer screen.