GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — SpongeBob SquarePants, meet Mickey Mouse.
Nickelodeon arrives at Garden Grove.
Last week, Garden Grove City Council finalized approval for the construction of a new Nickelodeon-themed hotel and resort on 3.7 acres along Harbor Boulevard. The board voted 6-0 with one board member, John O’Neill, absent.
“I think it’s a good project that the city has been waiting for for many, many years,” Garden Grove City Council member Diedre Thu-ha said before voting yes on the project.
The proposed project is approximately six years in duration and is located on the Garden Grove side of the Anaheim Resort District, approximately two miles south of Disneyland Resort.
Over the past decade, Garden Grove has slowly built its side of the resort district trying to get its share of the millions of visitors who come to Orange County to visit Disneyland or catch a game at the Honda Center or Angel Stadium.
In 2015, the city struck a deal with Great Wolf Lodge to open along Harbor Boulevard. And there are a pair of Kimpton boutique hotels currently in development in the city.
However, the city is recovering from coronavirus pandemic-related shutdowns that have hurt the city’s leisure and hospitality industry. In the past fiscal year, the city’s Transitional Occupancy Tax revenue fell 74% or $19.5 million from pre-pandemic levels, according to city records.
Nickelodeon officials did not return a message from Spectrum News seeking comment.
Arcadia-based Kam Sang Co., a real estate and hospitality company, is developing the Nickelodeon project, featuring a 23-story, 500-room hotel, Nickelodeon theater, lazy river, upscale restaurant, game room, spa and fitness center. , a 600-seat theater and more than 500 parking spaces.
City staff said the contemporary resort will include a sixth-level pool deck with a lazy river and waterslide.
The Garden Grove location would be Nickelodeon’s third complex. The cable channel known for dumping mud on contestants of its game shows and children’s programs also has resorts in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Here is a more detailed look at some of the amenities currently offered at the Garden Grove complex:
- The 600-seat Nick Studio will have stadium seating. The studio will host character shows, Nickelodeon-themed game shows, and other entertainment productions.
- Studio Hall is an entertainment space designed to resemble a production studio space. Nickelodeon-themed artwork and sculptures will decorate the room, and recreational games such as foosball, video games and checkers will be available for visitors.
- The Kid’s Lounge will offer an interactive play experience for children and adults, including slides, swings, video games and video projections.
- The outdoor pool deck will be themed SpongeBob SquarePants and will feature pools, a lazy river and a waterslide
- A gourmet restaurant called The Odeon will be located on the top floor of the hotel. The restaurant will provide an intimate, upscale environment away from the hotel’s main entertainment venues.
According to the Orange County Registry, the city owns the vacant parcel, valued at around $10 million, and will sell the land to the developer at a reduced rate of $920,000. The city will also refund 60% of the bed tax it collects to the developer.
The register added that the city estimates the new development could generate $236 million in taxes and other economic benefits to the area.
“This is one step in many steps to come,” said Garden Grove City Council member Stephanie Klopfenstein.