Great Park Description
The former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro is being transformed into the Orange County Great Park. Located in the geographic center of Orange County, the Great Park is easily accessible to millions of Southern California residents via freeway or railway. A project area spanning approximately 1,300 acres, with more than 200 acres developed and 688 acres in planning and design and fully funded, the Great Park embraces recreation, competitive sports and parkland; the environment; preserves Orange County’s agricultural heritage; and honors the military history of the former air base. Upon completion, the Orange County Great Park will join America’s inventory of national treasures and set a new standard for great metropolitan parks around the world. Amenities already include: the Great Park Balloon, the Carousel, the Great Park Visitors Center, Kids Rock play area, Walkable Historical Timeline, Historic Hangar 244, Palm Court, Farm + Food Lab, and existing sports fields.
At the November 26, 2013 Irvine City Council meeting, the City Council approved a proposal from Five Point Communities to develop another 688 acres of parkland at the Orange County Great Park. The five-year development, begun in October 2014, will dramatically expand the footprint of the built out portion of the City-owned Great Park and is the exclusive public-private partnership between the City of Irvine and Five Point Communities, the private developer that owns land adjacent to the Great Park.
The approved proposal includes a 194-acre sports park that will complement the Great Park’s existing North Lawn and South Lawn Sports + Fitness Complex. The sports park will become a premier recreational and competitive location with a planned 18 new additional soccer and multi-use fields, 25 tennis courts, 4 sports courts, 12 baseball/softball fields, and 5 sand volleyball courts.
In addition, plans include a 170-acre golf course and golf practice facility and clubhouse, 71-acre agriculture component, a 39-acre Bosque area near the Trabuco entrance, 36-acre Upper Bee Canyon area and improvements that will connect the Great Park to Irvine Boulevard, as well as the 178-acre Wildlife Corridor. The proposal does not impact the Cultural Terrace, which remains part of the Great Park Master Plan and will be developed at a later date.
The five-year development of the 688 acres was part of three motions approved by the City Council at the November 26, 2013 meeting that included an adjacent landowner agreement with Five Point Communities; a General Plan amendment and the first reading of a zone change; and certification of an Environmental Impact Report.
The adjacent landowner agreement sets in motion Five Point Communities’ proposal to build the 688 acres along with additional public benefits that have an estimated gross value to the City of Irvine of more than $200 million. Among these public benefits, Five Point Communities agreed to provide an additional $10 million to the City toward improvement of Marine Way, the main entrance into the Great Park. Five Point Communities is already obligated to fund major improvements to Marine Way through previous agreements with the City of Irvine.
In return for the 688 acres and more than $200 million in public benefit, the adoption of the ordinance allows Five Point Communities to build an additional 4,606 dwelling units on its privately owned Great Park Neighborhoods development that is adjacent to the Great Park, while reducing more than 410,000 square feet of non-residential development.
For ICTV coverage of the 688-acre groundbreaking, click here.
For before and after construction photos through January 2016, click here.
Cultural Terrace District Planning
The Cultural Terrace, a 248-acre portion of the Master Plan for the Orange County Great Park, is envisioned by the Great Park Board and City Council as the next major project at the Park following the 688-acre public-private project area now under construction. The vision for the Cultural Terrace area includes a variety of culturally oriented amenities, located near the Irvine Transportation Center in the southeastern portion of the park At an April 24, 2015 workshop, the Great Park Board reviewed the goals and considered several components for the future Cultural Terrace. Click here to view the discussion boards from the meeting.
City Council Actions for the 688 acres
Regarding the 688 acres, go to:
November 24, 2015:
Selection of consultant to develop operating model options for the Orange County Great Park Sports Complex
November 12, 2013:
Items 4.2 and 5.1
November 26, 2013:
Items 2.1, 3.1 and 4.1
December 10, 2013:
March 18, 2014:
City Council/Great Park adjourned regular joint meeting
Item 2.1 for program changes (numbers of sports fields)
Great Park Board Actions for the 688 Acres
Here is link to the agenda for the latest 688-acre related Great Park Board action, including maps of the Sports Park.
Regarding the 688 acres, go to:
August 4, 2015:
Impressions of Public Outreach, 2004-2010
Click here for a summary of public outreach that was completed regarding the Orange County Great Park from 2004-2010. Public outreach efforts are contemplated for 2016-2017.