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Anaheim's 'Sinkin' Lincoln' Site To Be Redeveloped Into 30-Acre Mixed-Use Megaproject

A 30-acre former landfill that Anaheim residents once referred to as “Sinkin’ Lincoln” and, in some cases, "Stinkin' Lincoln," is going to be redeveloped into a mixed-use megaproject.

A JV of Zellman Development and Greenlaw Partners is going to turn a 30-acre site in West Anaheim into a mixed-use retail and housing development

The Anaheim City Council approved a development agreement and ground lease Tuesday with a JV of Los Angeles-based Zelman Development Co. and Irvine-based Greenlaw Partners for the development of 39 Commons

The 39 Commons project on the northeast corner of Beach Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue in West Anaheim, a little more than 5 miles west of Disneyland, will feature a 73K SF retail center anchored by a high-end grocery store and up to 65 townhomes on 3.14 acres.

The development will include a park, outdoor community spaces and later a hotel or other commercial buildings on the vacant site. Construction will begin next year.

The seven-member council unanimously approved the project. 

“Tonight is an exciting day for West Anaheim,” Mayor Harry Sidhu said during the public hearing. “It has been long overdue … This will be a catalyst and light a spark in West Anaheim.”

Long an eyesore for the city, the 30-acre site has been vacant since 1985 and sits on one of the busiest transportation arteries in Orange County.

The site has been an orange grove, a landfill, a go-kart track and a mobile home park. Through the years, city officials found that the mounds of dirt that compressed the heaps of trash underneath the ground collapsed in certain areas, creating sinkholes — thus the infamous nickname "Sinkin' Lincoln" was born. 

The city acquired the site in 2001 and has long tried to find a developer with the expertise to redevelop the area. It has spent $25M on the acquisition and remediation of the site, according to city documents. 

As part of the agreement with the JV, the city will sell 12 acres from the property for $5.6M and lease to the JV the rest of the 18 acres for 55 years, according to city officials.

Longtime West Anaheim resident Mark Richard Daniels told the council he is glad that finally something good is going to get built on that site. 

"We have arrived to the future of West Anaheim," Daniels told the council. "This is going to be the focal point and revival of West Anaheim."