Last Wednesday, the owners of the Anaheim Ducks hopped on the “professional sports team turning the area around their stadium into a mixed-use district” bandwagon with the announcement of “ocV!BE,” a 115-acre neighborhood that will set up shop around the team’s Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The hockey team’s owners will realize that vision by developing the (currently unused) landscape of surface parking lots around the Honda Center. In return, the Southern California city will receive 2,800 new apartments with 15 percent set aside for affordable housing, 825,000-square-feet of office space, and 30 acres of public green spaces, including a “wellness park.”
The 27-year-old Honda Center will also be getting a set of major upgrades if the project moves forward as planned. Other than a new entrance plaza, the hockey arena could see two new hotels added, as well as restaurants, clubs, four new parking garages, and the largest upgrade, a 6,000-seat concert venue.
The $3 billion project, which at this stage is slated to be solely owned by Henry and Susan Samueli, the owners of the Anaheim Ducks, is also planning on integrating the sweeping public transportation upgrades slated to hit L.A. ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympics. ocV!BE will connect to the Anaheim ARCTIC train station at the site’s border via a new 1.5-mile-long footpath, and the Honda Center will get a new connecting offramp directly from the 57 Freeway.
ocV!BE is just one of many projects around the U.S. in recent years that have attempted to diversify and enliven the often-underused areas around major sporting arenas. In Inglewood, California, the Los Angeles Rams revealed a similar 2,500-unit development to help supplement their forthcoming stadium; the Green Bay Packers, Colorado Rockies, and Oakland A’s have all proposed likewise, despite the variety of the sports they represent. It makes sense since stadiums are major draws during their respective seasons and are located on prime real estate in need of densification, but often sit underused the rest of the year.
ocV!BE was submitted to the city of Anaheim for planning approval on June 24, and although no architect has been named for the project yet, the developers are shooting to open the first phase by 2024. The entire project is aiming for a 2028 completion date, as the Honda Center is slated to host the volleyball games for that year’s Olympics.