Garden Grove Mayor discusses ‘historic’ events of 2018, reveals grand openings in 2019 at annual address

Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones greeted a packed house at the Great Wolf Lodge Southern California. Courtesy photo.

At last Wednesday’s State of the City luncheon, Garden Grove Mayor Steve Jones greeted a packed house at the Great Wolf Lodge Southern California, for the annual start-of-year address. Calling 2018 an historic year because of major milestones and firsts, he announced many much-awaited grand openings for projects that included SteelCraft Garden Grove. He opened the program with a tribute to Garden Grove Fire Chief Tom Schultz, who passed away on Sunday, January 27.

Included in some of the Mayor’s highlights of 2018, was the passage of Measure O, the 1% sales tax going into effect April 1 that spurred the development of the Measure O Public Safety Plan at the end of last year. The 5-point plan includes adding 11 officers and five support staff to the police department, bringing the number of sworn officers to 179, the highest in the department’s history.

Mayor Jones highlighted several Re:Imagine Garden Grove projects aimed at creating gathering spaces and a unique sense of place for the community, from colorful Adirondack benches, to community-inspired art projects around downtown.

Included in the Re:Imagine effort will be the continuation of a bike/pedestrian trail along the former Pacific Electric right-of-way, from Nelson Street to Stanford Avenue, that will continue to Brookhurst Street thanks to a $1.8 million CalTrans Active Transportation Program grant.

“Today, I’m announcing that the tentative grand opening date for SteelCraft Garden Grove is May 23, 2019,” revealed Jones.

SteelCraft Garden Grove, located near Garden Grove City Hall, is a 15,000 square-foot urban eatery comprised of 21 shipping containers housing 10 craft businesses. In attendance at the event was Hockey Hall of Famer and former Ducks player, Teemu Selanne, opening “The Penalty Box” burger place as part of SteelCraft Garden Grove.

Other upcoming openings included: Shaheen Sadeghi’s Cottage Industries project, re-purposing Craftsman homes near the Civic Center, opening its first phase called “Farm Block” this summer; next month’s opening of Nova Kitchen fine dining alongside the newly-renovated Hyatt Regency Orange County; the February 12, 2019 ground breaking for the 8-story Garden Brook Senior Village, formerly known as the Galleria, on Garden Grove Boulevard; the Spring 2019 opening for the $12 million expansion of the Starlight 4-Star Cinemas and adjoining mall, on the west side of town at Valley View Street and Chapman Avenue; and the May 4, 2019 inauguration of Gardenia by Shea Homes, offering 70 single-family homes at Lewis Street and Garden Grove Boulevard.

“Living with our new normal” is how Mayor Jones described the City’s planned continuation of 5% budget cuts, and unfilled early-retirement vacancies, saying 2019 would be a year for “rebuilding, re-prioritizing, and reciprocating the support of our community.”

To view the entire speech and photos from the event, visit the City’s website at

This article was released by the City of Garden Grove.