Anaheim needs third Beach Boulevard motel for affordable housing revitalization project


California Construction News staff writer

The City of Anaheim is planning to buy another Beach Boulevard motel to make way for affordable housing and revitalize the street running through the heart of west Anaheim.

City Council, acting as the Anaheim Housing Authority, approved using the city’s right to acquire private property for public use in buying the Rainbow Inn, a 42-room motel near Beach and Ball Road.

If necessary, approval would allow the city to use eminent domain to buy the Rainbow Inn – owned by Dhanuba Hospitality Inc., a family holding company – if ongoing talks with the owners don’t bring about a sale.

Several prior city offers for the motel have gone unaccepted, including a $6.9 million offer in December to buy the motel.

The property at 831 S. Beach Blvd., is needed to create a combined 2.7-acre site that would house 120 apartments at affordable rents based on income and 15 townhomes for sale at market prices, with the prospect of some townhomes being available to first-time buyers.

In late 2022, Anaheim acquired the Covered Wagon Motel, on the north side of the Rainbow Inn, and Anaheim Lodge, on the south side.

The city closed the Covered Wagon in March 2022 for health and safety violations and inhumane living conditions and bought the 70-room motel for $6.6 million in December 2022.

Also in December 2022, Anaheim acquired the 45-room Anaheim Lodge for $7.6 million.

The proposed redevelopment of the combined motel sites is part of Anaheim’s work to rebuild Beach, which runs 1.5 miles through west Anaheim. Once a thriving route to the coast with motels and other businesses, Beach in Anaheim today has seen most lodging outlive its usefulness.

Since 2002, Anaheim has acquired and torn down four Beach motels:

  • 2002: Anaheim tears down the Silver Moon Motel south of Beach and Lincoln after acquiring it in 2001.
  • 2021: Anaheim demolishes Americana Motel south of Beach and Lincoln after buying it in 2019.
  • 2023: Anaheim tears down Covered Wagon Motel after acquiring it in 2022.
  • 2024 Anaheim demolishes Anaheim Lodge after buying it in 2022.

A fifth Beach motel, Lyndy’s Motel at Beach and Ball, was acquired and demolished in 2017 by a private developer and turned into a car wash.

A multiyear plan to rebuild Beach includes creating new homes and businesses, working to improve existing businesses, undergrounding utility lines and upgraded streetlights, taking over management of the roadway from Caltrans, daily homeless outreach and strict police enforcement of prostitution, drugs and other crimes.

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