SANTA CLARA – The ultimate games of the Great America theme park are now visible after one of the Bay Area’s largest real estate developers has purchased the land beneath the iconic Santa Clara theme park for $310 million.
The beloved theme park is set to close in 11 years.
Prologis, a massive development company whose specialties include industrial centers and logistics centers, bought the land from Cedar Fair, which was trying to cut debt, including through asset sales such as the land deal in Santa Clara.
“We chose Prologis as our partner because of its deep relationships in the Bay Area and its reputation for working closely with local communities on large developments,” said Richard Zimmerman, CEO of Ohio-based Cedar Fair.
2021: Guests enter California’s Great America Theme Park on Sunday, May 23, 2021 in Santa Clara, California, and the park opened to the public on Saturday for the first time this year, operating at 25% capacity under COVID-19 county restrictions. (Eric Krapp/Bay Area News Group)
2021: Guests ride the Rail Blazer roller coaster at California’s Great America theme park on Sunday, May 23, 2021 in Santa Clara, California. COVID-19 County Restrictions. (Eric Krapp/Bay Area News Group)
2020: California’s Great America remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Santa Clara, California, Thursday, September 17, 2020 (Anda Chu/Bay Bay Area News Group)
2017: A Patriot roller coaster takes riders through a 360-degree loop during a preview ride at California’s Great America amusement park in Santa Clara, California, Friday, March 31, 2017. The first floorless roller coaster in the park’s history takes its riders off a nine-story drop, In a 360-degree loop, a helix connecting the loop and a screw wrench have a top speed of 45 mph. The ship will make its official debut at the park on April 1. In celebration of the new trip, all current and former military service members with valid ID will receive free admission from March 25 to May 29. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
2015: Levi’s Playground is visible behind Carousel Columbia before the weekend opening of California’s Great America Park in Santa Clara, California, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The park will celebrate its 40th season. (Gary Reyes / Bay Area News Group)
2015: Diego Rivera cleans up Thunder Raceway as workers prepare for the California theme park’s opening weekend in Santa Clara, California, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The park will celebrate its 40th season. (Gary Reyes / Bay Area News Group)
2011: Families gather to watch the Paramount Great America fireworks, Santa Clara, California, July 3, 2011 (Josie Lepe/San Jose Mercury News)
2011: A crowd leaves after the Paramount Great America fireworks, Santa Clara, California on July 3, 2011 (Josie Lepe/San Jose Mercury News)
2011: The Wu family, right, of San Jose watch fireworks at Paramount’s Great America, Santa Clara, California on July 3, 2011 (Josie Lepe/San Jose Mercury News)
Fleur Vasquez of Menlo Park and Tracy Knox of San Jose experienced the Invertigo, the newest Great American Journey on April 2, 1998.
1998: Invertigo, Great America’s newest flight, opened for testing on VIP/Media Day on April 2, 1998. VIPs received the privilege of the first flight.
1997: Riding the Extreme Sky Flyer at Great America in Santa Clara, 1997. A new flight costs each rider an additional $20 on the entrance fee. (Kunta Costa Times/Bob Peping)
1986: Guests of the Great America at the Marriott enjoyed the thrill of rollercoaster ride “The Grizzly” in this 1986 photo.
1991: Riders express their elation after completing a tour on “Vortex” at Great America in California.
CBRE, a commercial real estate firm, has arranged the property deal, which will result in the park’s closure in no more than 11 years, although the exact timing is unclear.
Under the terms of the agreement, Prologis paid Cedar Fair $310 million to purchase the land. Prologis at one time agreed to lease the land back to Cedar Fair.
“Cedar Fair will continue to operate the park for up to 11 years and then close current park operations at the end of the lease term,” the company said Monday. Cedar Fair is one of the largest operators of regional theme parks in the country.
Cedar Fair purchased the land from the City of Santa Clara in 2019 following the dissolution of municipal redevelopment agencies organized by the state government to help address the previous budget crisis.
Prior to the 2019 deal, Cedar Fair had leased the land below the park for about 40 years.
“The sale and lease agreements allow us to monetize a high-value asset in the heart of Silicon Valley at very attractive multiples,” Cedar CEO Fair Zimmerman said in a prepared statement.