Although historically shadowed by its famous neighbor city of Los Angeles or seen only as the home of Disneyland, Anaheim is making literal and metaphorical groundbreaking moves to establish itself as a presence in Southern California. Construction begins in January 2023 to build ocV!BE.
This “city within a city” will be a hub of entertainment, food and Southern California lifestyle and is expected to become the beating heart of Anaheim. Mirroring a child’s excitement for visiting Disneyland, ocV!BE will not only be an adult playground of concert venues, modern restaurants and luxury hotels, but a residential and pedestrian-friendly development for both locals and travelers to enjoy.
What Is ocV!BE?
The $4 billion-dollar, 95-acre development will be a hub of entertainment venues, world class hotels, modern food spots and residences. Katie Pederson, Director of special events for ocV!BE, says the privately funded project stemmed from Anaheim’s need for a central location outside of Disneyland.
“Anaheim, since the dawn of Disney, has been a huge driver for Orange County, for Southern California, for travel tourism,” says Pederson. Yet this tourism has been largely family oriented. Pederson says ocV!BE will fulfill the need for a center in Orange County where adults and businesses can work, meet, live, and vacation.
“People have always wanted something that was a beacon or a Mecca here in Orange County,” says Pederson. “We hope that ocV!BE will eventually provide a heart to our county.”
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Entertainment, Food and Lifestyle
With a heavy focus on entertainment, ocV!BE will build new concert venues around the Honda Center. With 30,000 seats of entertainment and 20 acres of parks and open space, performances can be held in the small speakeasy or be part of a large music festival with a campus wide capacity of 40,000 people.
Eventually accruing over 30 food concepts throughout the district and a 21-stall Market Hall, ocV!BE will be a modern and globally diverse paradise for not only foodies but for aspiring culinary artists. “We’re really trying to find some up and comers in the culinary scene,” says Pederson.
In addition to building over 500 hotel rooms, ocV!BE will also offer 1,500 residential units and 865,000 sq. ft. of office space. Residents will have the ability to walk to work, then walk to a restaurant or bar, then take in a concert before walking home.
“We want ocV!BE to be a home for innovation,” says Pederson. “We want to give people the opportunity to live, work and play in the same location.”
2023 – “Shovels in the dirt” in January 2023. Henry and Susan Samueli, owners of the Anaheim Ducks, break ground to develop ocV!BE.
2024 – “Phase One” begins. Construction is underway with parking structures as the number one priority to lessen the disturbance of traffic in Anaheim. “We should have several thousand parking stalls and several parking structures up and running in 2024,” said Pederson.
2025 – ocV!BE opens a 6,000-capacity concert venue which Pederson says will be unlike any other venue of its size. “We are hoping to draw some really great acts into that space.” The ocV!BE culinary scene will also begin to form with ocV!BE’s Market Hall.
2026 – “Phase Two” begins. Two world class hotels will be added between 2026 and 2028 to the ocV!BE ecosystem. While Pederson couldn’t reveal the specific brands, she did disclose the two hotels will have two very different vibes.
“One of the hotels is going to be more focused and centric on entertainment…the second brand, we’re going to call it our garden hotel. Still high end, but more grounded.”
2028 – By 2028, ocV!Be will be fully operational, just in time for the Olympic games. Anaheim’s Honda Center is home to the Anaheim Ducks and sports will continue to be a central part of ocV!BE’s entertainment pillar. The 2028 Summer Olympics will be taking place in Los Angeles and using Honda Center as the venue for the Men’s Volleyball Olympic Tournament.
Putting Anaheim on the Map
ocV!BE is a product of the evolution Anaheim has been experiencing in the recent years. Attracting the film industry has been a motivation for Anaheim as Covid restrictions grew tighter in Los Angeles than Orange County. Anaheim offered film producers more affordable and accessible options than their famous neighboring city. The newest installation of the Fast and the Furious franchise used the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) as the background for an action film sequence.
“It’s that drive to make Orange County the place to be,” says Pederson. “We want to show the world what Orange County is and what Orange County can be.”
Pederson has high hopes for the future of Anaheim tourism with the launch of ocV!BE. “It will be a game changer for Orange County.”