Los Angeles/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on May 08, 2024
Anaheim Backs Disneyland's Visionary Revamp with 'DisneylandForward' Project ApprovalSource: Google Street View

Disneyland is gearing up for a massive overhaul that promises to infuse the city with new vitality and increase its coffers significantly. Dubbed DisneylandForward, the project received the green light from Anaheim's City Council with a conclusive second vote on May 7th, following initial approval last month, according to the city's statement.

With the unanimous backing of the seven-member Council, the plan will take effect in another 30 days, laying the groundwork, for a multi-decade endeavor to revitalize existing spaces around the iconic theme parks. Despite the fanfare, the specifics remain under wraps, Disney has yet to share concrete details but has teased potential developments akin to attractions inspired by global park successes, like an "Avatar"-themed land, as stated on the city's website.

The recent nod from city officials is not tied to any specific project but rather to a strategic revamp of the types of uses for land currently owned and operated by Disney around their Anaheim locations. The move could lead to new theme park lands and attractions—flanked by hotels on the west side of Disneyland Drive, and fresh shopping, dining, and entertainment options rising from the current Toy Story Parking Area at Katella Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. However, before any new attractions begin to take shape, individual projects will still be subject to city planning review, as noted in the city's announcement.

As per the deal with the city, Disney is mandated to inject a minimum of $1.9 billion into a mixed basket of enhancements, including theme parks, lodging, and retail developments, over the next ten years. The agreement also earmarks funds for wider community benefits, including $30 million for affordable housing, $10 million for sewer improvements along Katella Avenue, and $8 million earmarked for Anaheim parks—all within the initial year, as laid out in the official press release.

The bold initiative, DisneylandForward, is set to do more than just revamp Anaheim's entertainment landscape; it's aimed at boosting the local economy substantially. With current projections estimating additional annual revenue between $15 million and $244 million at full buildout, city officials are banking on this project as a significant financial driver. Further noting, visitors account for more than half the city’s revenue, which goes toward essential public services, including police, fire, and community services. The project also brings with it multiple commitments from Disney to mitigate traffic, noise, and other community concerns, ensuring that the development maintains its status as a good neighbor in the storied city, a city’s statement reads.