After years of failed efforts to land some sort of tourist attraction, the Garden Grove City Council has agreed to let an investment firm move forward with plans to construct a $4-billion amusement park in a city best known for its annual strawberry festival.
The park, which would include three resort-style hotels, would be built on a 150-acre site on Harbor Boulevard, three miles down the road from Disneyland.
The plan's backers also told the council that they wanted to invest an additional $4 billion to build a nearby retail and entertainment complex.
Though details were sketchy and the source of the investor's money is murky, council members enthusiastically embraced the theme-park plan, voting 5-0 Tuesday night to begin a 90-day negotiating period with the Los Angeles-based investment firm, TL Properties.
As part of the agreement, the company — which represents Korean interests — must put up $500,000, hire theme-park consultants, develop a preliminary concept and provide details on funding for the project.
Michael Lim, a TL Properties consultant, said the company was formed solely for the purpose of building a theme park, and he identified its president as Korean American Chris Yang, a Los Angeles building inspector who has a doctorate in quantum physics from Hamburg University in Germany.
"It has always been his dream to build an amusement park, but we have no background in this," said Lim, adding that his company is backed by a Hong Kong investment firm..........
Greg Blodgett, an economic development manager for Garden Grove, said the city is encouraging TL Properties to build a "next-generation park" that would complement Disneyland.
"We're looking at something along the lines of Islands of Adventure, Universal's second park in Orlando," Blodgett said.