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July 30, 2007

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New buzz on old Movieland site

Businesses look into leasing parts of the Buena Park property for short periods of time.

By SERENA MARIA DANIELS THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

BUENA PARK Several companies have approached the city, interested in leasing parts of the Movieland Wax Museum property, which has been vacant for nearly two years.

After word got out that Buena Park’s redevelopment agency had purchased the site of the former tourist attraction in May, businesses that would operate on a seasonal basis have asked about the property.

“There are a lot of businesses interested in doing business in Buena Park,” said Ruben Lopez, project manager for the city.

Costume retailer Halloween Express wants to rent part of the building between August and November.

Sugar Plum Festival, a traveling craft retailer, wants to use part of the facility about four times a year for a week at a time.

A third group approached the city about turning the site into a concert hall, but officials were cool on that proposal.

It is unclear what will become of the Movieland property, located on Beach Boulevard near La Palma Way, on a permanent basis. The city recently hired a consultant to survey the entertainment zone along Beach Boulevard to find the right types of permanent businesses.

In the meantime, temporary businesses would create income and prevent vandalism, Councilman Art Brown said.

Halloween Express and Sugar Plum Festival are expected to make formal proposals soon.

Tenant timeline

1962 Movieland Wax Museum opens. October 2005 The museum closes because of a declining customer base. November 2006 Buena Park officials approve a plan to bring in Best Buy. January 2007 Best Buy pulls out of the development plan. The site continues to sit unoccupied. May 2007 The city buys the property for $8.6 million. July 2007 Companies approach the city about leasing parts of the property on an intermittent basis.

CONTACT THE WRITER:

714-704-3795 or sdaniels@ocregister.com

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