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Unfinished buildings turning into eyesores

August 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
One very visible symbol of the bad economy is the number of unfinished building developments that loom on the horizon of many Southern California neighborhoods. One such example is the eight-story Garden Grove Galleria, started during the construction boom and now sunk into insolvency. The huge unfinished skeleton of the structure now overshadows the neighborhood.

"I would rather see it finished or take it all down," said Vince Hoang who was having lunch nearby on Friday.

Many residents have come to see these abandoned developments as eyesores, a constant reminder of the floundering economy.

"It's just bringing down the value of the property in my neighborhood," said Hung Huynh, who lives in Garden Grove.

One commercial brokerage firm said no new retail centers had been built in Orange County since the fourth quarter of 2008 and that many development projects that were active have been frozen indefinitely.

"We would have anticipated a few thousand more residential units built by now," said Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, who four years ago participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a huge condo complex near downtown.

Those condos actually did get built, but most of them didn't sell so they are renting instead. Out of 9,500 residential units that had been planned for the area, only about 3,000 have been built.

Major developments all over Anaheim's downtown have slowed or been postponed.

"They are waiting out for the economy to be at the right time for their construction," said Pringle.

Until that happens, rebar and scaffolding will stand where timeshares and retail space were once imagined.


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