The 37-story tower dubbed One Broadway Plaza was supposed to have been built and operational by the fourth business quarter of 2008. The developer failed to deliver. The developer failed to raise the money to build it. It’s problematic if a company is saying that it’s going to build something but doesn’t have the money to do it. That’s a red flag.
Now the developer is scurrying to sell off his properties to raise money to build a tower that was the real reason and focus for buying properties in Santa Ana to begin with.
Part of the strategy to raise money for said tower was to revitalize the downtown through the arts, but now the so-called “Artist’s Village” is about to disappear as we know it. The Arts were a ploy to get restaurants here, along with a Downtown Inc to represent those interests, not the arts.
The identity of the arts-oriented historic core can change with the sale of the Santora building to a church, which is the word in the downtown. A similar precedent took place with the sale of the old Masonic Temple on 5th & Sycamore to the church of Scientology. That space, which was called the Santa Ana Performing Arts & Event Center, used to be open to the community. Santa Ana College had their Pageant of the Trees annual fundraiser there and other events where the SAC Music Department participated in. But its doors were closed to the community with the sale to the scientologists. The same could happen, and is likely inevitable, if the Santora goes to another church.
The sales of these buildings are examples of social irresponsibility. The new buyers are out of touch with Santa Ana. More churches are not what the downtown needs. A surplus of churches is about as desirable as a surplus of quinceañera shops. What matters most to the developer is not Santa Ana, but a skyscraper. That has always been the prize.