The Santa Ana Sentinel

All for One Broadway Plaza

Posted in Artists Village, Downtown, Opinion by Omar Ian Ávalos on April 24, 2012

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.

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  1. James Dones said, on April 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Obviously you’re offended by churches? As opposed to crime, city decade, and social crotchety… You say you’re worried about the arts? Do you know more great Masterpieces were sponsored by churches to promote their imagination and talents then any other society? You lay blame on a group that promotes reconstruction of Santa Ana, by twisting your argument into saving the arts from churches? Really…? Why don’t you write about uniting all people into supporting the local arts, supporting the revitalization of Santa Ana, and support the health of a community by positive influences. Think out side the box and the Arts, Revitalization, and churches will create a new great Masterpiece called Santa Ana.

    • Omar Ávalos Gallegos said, on April 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      Oh that’s right. I forgot that we live in a time when the church sponsors the arts. Sure, the church commissioned great artworks over time, but what kind of art? Religious art. Art meant to reflect the church’s idea of what is exemplary or acceptable. We live in much different times where artists no longer depend on church patronage.

      How can you or anyone say with such certainty what this particular buyer will do for Santa Ana? Are you or anyone else some kind of prophet? Self-proclaimed perhaps? Even if this buyer does commission artwork from locals, how do you know that they won’t dictate the content of the art?

      This move is nothing more than market building. It remains to be seen what positive impacts may come and whether all parties will be satisfied.

      Lastly, read my writings on arts & culture, and my arguments in favor of progress in this city, carefully before you question me. Read what I propose for Santa Ana residents to do in order to improve this town. Remember, I’m the one writing about good news in Santa Ana, for the sake of how it’s seen around the county, not you. Your statements about the city’s problems only verify the limited knowledge that you have about this place.

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