Big plans ahead for old Movieland Wax Museum site Buena Park to begin exclusive negotiations with television studio that will include an entertainment complex.
By SERENA MARIA DANIELS
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER Comments 10
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BUENA PARK – The city is in negotiations with a developer that intends to build a television station and entertainment complex in place of the old Movieland Wax Museum, a space that has been vacant for years.
The city is expected to go into a 120-day agreement with ZCity Buena Park Real Estate of San Juan Capistrano in the next month to negotiate exclusively with the developer.
As part of the agreement, ZCity would make a $100,000 deposit on the property, and, if negotiations are successful, eventually pay no less than $8.85 million to a city agency for the property, according to a city staff report.
ZCity representatives referred questions to a New York City-based public relations firm, which did not immediately return phone calls.
The developer has submitted artist renderings of the proposed entertainment complex to the city.
"I got to see them in color, and it was exciting," Councilman Art Brown said.
The entertainment venue – expected to make over part of the city's E-Zone or Entertainment Zone on Beach Boulevard - would be at least 48,000 square feet.
It would have the look and feel of Universal Studio's City Walk or Downtown Disney, complete with the studio facilities, retail and restaurant space, and a full-service, sit-down restaurant similar to a Cheesecake Factory, according to city documents.
The Movieland lot has remained vacant since 2005, when the 60,000-square-foot museum closed for poor attendance.
Now, a Starbucks and Po Folks Restaurant remain. If negotiations are successful, those leases could be bought out, city records say.
In January 2007, after plans to build a Best Buy and fast-food restaurants fell through, the city's Redevelopment Agency made an $8.6 million purchase to control development on the lot.
"We're hoping to get something there to kick off the whole redevelopment of that whole street," Mayor Jim Dow said.
If the entertainment complex is a go, construction could begin as early as October and be complete by July 2009, city records say.
The city and ZCity are expected to agree to a confidentiality agreement, to prevent details from being leaked until negotiations are complete.