It's Fun to (Not) Pay for the YMCA

On the corner of Santa Ana Boulevard and Broadway in SanTana stands a magnificent YMCA building (pictured here in the city's pre-Mexico days) that's been abandoned for years. Developers have proposed various ideas—turn it into a boutique hotel, reopen it as gym, transform the structure into an extension of Chapman University's film school, or tear the sucker down.

The latest pitch comes from one Jack Dangelo, managing partner at Giachino Development Co.: as reported by the Orange County Register, the Corona del Mar-based developer wants to turn the YMCA building into a mixed-use structure whose primary tenants would be the Orange County Archives and the wonderful non-profit, Taller San Jose. All the city has to do for this great project to happen is give Dangelo the building (estimated value around $9 millions) for gratis, and Dangelo promises to spend about $14 million to repair the YMCA.

Sounds chido, right? There are just a couple of problems, and all deal with Mr. Dangelo.

Simply put, Dangelo is someone who can't seem to manage his money. Three businesses that list Dangelo as their registering agent with the California Secretary of State—Cherry Valley Partners, Dancomm Corp., and the Jack Dangelo Company—remain suspended by the California Franchise Tax Board for failure to pay taxes. Speaking of taxes, public records reviewed by the Weekly show Dangelo was docked with $60,213 in state and federal tax liens in 1996, a debt said records show he wasn't released from until 2005. Those tax liens probably explain why U.S. bankruptcy court records list four separate filings by Dangelo (once for Chapter 7, thrice for Chapter 13) in the mid-1990s but don't explain why, in 2004, IRS data reveal he amassed $120,311 in federal tax liens that Dangelo paid off the following year.

Dangelo reminds me of Roy D. DePaul, another developer with a shady past who talked big dreams—in his case, the "revitalization" of downtown Placentia—but never delivered. That SanTana city officials are even considering dealing with Dangelo shows how nuts the Banana Republic is becoming. Beware, SanTana residents: BEWARE.


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