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Great America Sold to San Francisco Real Estate Firm For $70 Million

Great America theme park has been sold for $70 million to a San Francisco real estate firm, JMA, in a deal intended to resolve a two-year-old lawsuit filed by the park’s operators against the city of Santa Clara.

The owners of the San Francisco 49ers, the York family, are reportedly contributing to the purchase though their exact investment has not yet been disclosed. The team released a statement saying, “We are excited about this new opportunity and partnership with JMA. We believe this venture will enhance both Great America Park and the Santa Clara Stadium project.”

The deal is expected to move the stadium project forward, create additional development opportunities for the theme park and facilitate a proposal by football Hall of Famer Joe Montana and his partner Eddie DeBartolo to create a luxury hotel on two parcels of the city-owned land.

The city owns the land which the park sits on and has been leasing it to Cedar Fair, an Ohio-based company that owns Great America. Two years ago, Cedar Fair opposed a measure to build the $987 million, 68.500-seat stadium and filed a lawsuit against Santa Clara over various issues related to the construction of the stadium next to the theme park. Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair’s chief executive office, commented on the recent sale and said the decision to sell was not an easy one. “This is a quality park that has terrific employees and serves a strong market,” he said in a statement. “That being said, as part of our regular comprehensive review of our portfolio of parks, we determined that divesting a smaller park like California’s Great America at an attractive market value created a compelling business opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.”

The deal is scheduled for approval by the City Council in the next 45 to 60 days.

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014