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Orange County Register (California)

The property surrounding Angel Stadium is valued at $225 million if Arte Moreno's team stays in town and the land is leased long term to a developer for housing and offices, according to a city-commissioned appraisal released Friday.

That value jumps to $325 million if the Angels leave Anaheim, the stadium is torn down and the entire city-owned 154.6-acre property is sold to a developer, the appraisal said — a scenario that city leaders stressed they want to avoid.

"Anaheim has invested for over 50 years to use that land for Angels baseball, and we want to continue that for the long term," Councilwoman Kris Murray said. "This appraisal shows that it's important for us to come to terms that can be solidified, and the time to do that is now."

The report, by Waronzof Associates, provides two other scenarios for the stadium property:

If the team leaves, the stadium is demolished and the entire 154.6 acres are leased to a developer, the land is worth $300 million.

If the Angels remain in Anaheim and the surrounding 133 acres are sold to a developer, the property is valued at $245 million.

The Angels and the city have a stadium grounds' lease that runs until 2029, but the baseball team can opt out from 2016 to 2019. Both parties are working toward a new lease. The report is based on projected values for October 2016.

The appraisal was ordered by the City Council shortly after it voted 4-1 on an agreement in September that outlined a series of bargaining points, including one that would allow Moreno's development firm, Pacific Coast Investors, to lease the parking lots for $1 annually over 66 years. Values estimated in the report were based on a nebulous "55 to 75 year lease, but not more than 99 years."

Some of the 133 acres surrounding the stadium would be developed, but some would be set aside for parking structures to help ensure there are at least 12,500 parking spaces, according to the report.

Team and some city officials have said that money generated from development would go toward an estimated $150 million in maintenance upgrades at Angel Stadium, built in 1966.

Mayor Tom Tait has repeatedly called that proposal a "taxpayer giveaway," allowing Moreno to reap millions beyond the money required for renovations.

"The appraisal states the obvious, and it's that the stadium property is worth hundreds of millions of dollars more than just $1 a year," Tait said. "If the property is going to be developed, then we should get credit for the value of the property, plain and simple."

Last week, Angels President John Carpino raised concerns that the appraisal does not take into account the team's parking rights, costs of stadium renovations or tax revenue generated by any potential development on the parking lots.

Team spokeswoman Marie Garvey said the Angels were fine with the results of the report and felt that it was "important for our fans and the public to have this information."

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May 4, 2014


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