Great Park spans approximately 1,300 acres, with more than 200 acres developed and 688 fully funded acres in planning and design phases. Upon completion, it will join America’s inventory of national treasures and set a new standard for great metropolitan parks around the world.
Please see below for information on current and upcoming projects at the Great Park. For a copy of the monthly development updates provided to the Orange County Great Park Board, including past updates, visit the Key Documents page.
Cultural Terrace: Development Partner Projects
Wild Rivers Water Park
Wild Rivers broke ground on July 7, 2021, and is currently under construction. The project is scheduled to open July 2022. For more information, please visit wildrivers.com.
View the Wild Rivers Fact Sheet here.
Parking Lot 8
In June 2022, the City completed construction of a new parking lot at the southeast corner of Great Park Boulevard and Skyhawk, adding 1,240 parking spaces to the Great Park. During summer months, this parking lot will provide exclusive parking for Wild Rivers, and will provide supplemental parking for Sports Park and Cultural Terrace activities for the remainder of the year. The parking lot is designed to easily incorporate overhead solar panels and provides 70 Level 2 electrical vehicle charging stations.
Cultural Terrace: Proposed Projects
The Great Park Master Plan anticipates an amphitheater in the Great Park. In December 2010, a Level 2 Program Priority Feasibility Study was completed for an outdoor amphitheater with 8,000 fixed seats and a 2,000-seat lawn capacity on 11.5 acres, excluding parking. The proposed project budget was $51 million in 2009; according to the Bureau of Labor, the project in 2019 is an estimated $62 million. City staff will return with an update on future development of an amphitheater in the Great Park after meetings with the amphitheater sub-committee and Live Nation.
Visitors Center Plaza Rehabilitation
The Visitors Center Plaza will be undergoing a renovation to remove temporary asphalt paving, add landscaping, seating and shade, and improve pedestrian access. Lighting and electrical upgrades will also improve usability. An elevated patio deck will be added to the Visitors Center and new butterfly shade structures will be added over the adjacent playground. A public bid process is underway and will close mid-May 2022, with construction expected to begin in July 2022.
Western Sector: Development Partner Projects
Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum
On May 25, 2021, the Irvine City Council unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation (FLHF) to establish a strategy for the restoration of Hangar 296 of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, fundraising, and public outreach, all with the goal of the re-establishment of the Flying Leathernecks Aviation Museum. Learn more here.
Pretend City Children's Museum
The proposed facility will develop five acres of land and a 55,500-square-foot facility in the Western Sector on the Civic Site. As part of the second amendment to the ALA II, FivePoint will deliver a graded pad for Pretend City. The project is in the predevelopment phase, with a budget of $30 million funded through First 5 Orange County funds and a capital campaign. First 5 has provided a $5.5 million grant, and half of the $5 million target from private donors has been raised as of October 2020. Concept plans are under current review.
Balloon Lawn Playground
As part of the ALA II Modification 1 approved by the Great Park Board in April 2019, the Sports Complex playground was relocated from the area between the Championship Soccer Stadium and the Tennis Complex to a central area next to the Balloon along the Visitors Center. The project is complete.
FivePoint Pop-Up Village
FivePoint Communities has completed development of 2,000 square feet of small dining spaces, storage, and restrooms in repurposed cargo containers adjacent to the volleyball courts and soccer stadium in the Sports Park. These small commercial spaces will add new food and beverage options for Great Park Neighborhoods and Sports Park users in the near future. The project has approvals to expand up to 10,000 square feet.
Western Sector: Infrastructure Developments
The Second Amendment to the ALA II provided a framework and access to funding to develop, in partnership with FivePoint, three facilities in the Western Sector: USA Water Polo, a field house, and parking structure to replace the Festival Lot and support new facilities in the Western Sector. City staff and FivePoint have begun refining the design concepts for the City-owned projects and discussing the operation and maintenance of the facilities.
This project adds two new sports facilities – a water polo and community pool facility and a field house for indoor basketball and volleyball training and competitions – and a new centrally located parking structure to serve the western side of the Great Park. These improvements were approved in concept by the Orange County Great Park Board and City Council on October 22, 2019. An addendum to the Orange County Great Park is being prepared to analyze the environmental impacts from the proposal. This project is in design phase and is estimated to cost $250 million.
Great Park Improvement Area: Proposed Projects
Western White Water
Multiple public outreach surveys regarding development in the Great Park identified the public’s desire for unstructured family-oriented outdoor recreation opportunities. On October 24, 2017, the Great Park Board directed staff to begin development discussions with Western Whitewater Works for the development of a 35-acre facility that would offer trails, rock climbing, and adventure water sport activities, among others.
California Fire Museum and Safety Learning Center (CFM-SLC)
The City is working with the California Fire Museum on a possible relocation of the museum location to the Fourplex in the Cultural Terrace to improve project synergy. The project has a design budget of $25 million, which will be privately funded, with the Fire Museum occupying the Great Park as a long-term tenant.
Public Safety Joint Training Facility
As part of the Orange County Fire Authority Settlement, $20 million in funds were set aside for the development of a joint police and fire training facility. The project will include relocation of the Emergency Operations Center, and provide new indoor and outdoor instructional facilities on a 40-acre site. The Great Park Board designated a location near the southeast intersection of Irvine Boulevard and the Bosque Trail at its March 24 meeting. Next steps include: identifying cost for total project, identifying phasing and supplemental funding opportunities, and proceeding with design and construction drawings. The project is currently in the predevelopment phase, with a project budget of $20.5 million.
State Veterans Cemetery
The Great Park Board and Irvine City Council on July 23, 2019, designated 100 acres of land in the former Golf Course Site to the State of California for a State Veterans Cemetery. Staff are taking the necessary regulatory steps to designate the identified property, and City management is working with the State of California to expedient the review of the location and identify the next steps in the development of the Southern California State Veterans Cemetery. The governor has placed $700,000 in his budget proposal to pay specifically for site evaluation, and the project budget is approximately $59 million. As of October 27, 2020, technical studies were being prepared, with an anticipated completion date of June 2021. For more information, visit the City's Veterans Cemetery webpage here.
Botanical gardens have been a consistent presence in the planning of the Great Park, and have been included in varying locations and sizes since the 2007 Master Plan. In 2017, the City conducted a feasibility study for a 60-acre Botanical Garden in the Cultural Terrace. The preliminary findings estimated costs of $50 million to $55 million to develop and $3.6 million to operate in a stabilized year. It would have the potential to generate $1.8 million in earned revenue from admissions, fees, programming, facility rentals, and retails sales. In February 2022, the City commenced an updated feasibility study and historic assessment for four buildings and one structure previously identified as possibly eligible for historic designation, with eight weeks anticipated for completion. No funding nor project schedule is identified to date, but staff and the Great Park Garden Coalition are informally discussing terms of a possible Exclusive Negotiating Agreement. The coalition has also engaged Cal Poly Pomona landscape architecture students to inspire design ideas for a future garden.
Flooring renovation is underway at the Great Park Hangar 244. Concrete is being repaired and polished, and hallways will receive epoxy coating or carpet. Renovations are complete.
Tenant Improvements & Temporary Projects
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
At Great Park Board direction, staff has started looking into adding Electric Vehicle and DC Fast Charging stations throughout the Great Park. Preliminary consultation process has begun, with plans to look at the Southern California Edison infrastructure throughout the Great Park. The project will move forward with the possibility to expand Citywide later on, as well as with possible revenue generation through advertising. Electric vehicle charging capabilities are expected to be available at Great Park in late 2022.
In winter 2019, City Council expressed an interest in increasing shade within the Sports Complex. A capital improvement project to complete this work was created in the fiscal year 2019-20 budget. Design is underway, with a budget of $2.15 million. Complete concept design is expected by the end of 2020.
Parking & Roadway Lighting in Western Sector
The Western Sector Roadways project included road-edge streetlights, which are now energized along Corsair and Phantom. Following the January Great Park Board meeting, roadway lighting was energized and temporary solar- and fuel-powered lights were positioned in Parking Lot 2 (Festival Lot). The project is complete, though staff are evaluating sustainable alternative options to better illuminate the lot prior to construction of the Western Sector Improvements.
Sports Complex Concession Improvements
In response to user requests, concession upgrades are being planned at Great Park sports stadiums to serve hot, unpackaged food. Initial funding was approved in June 2019. All three stadium facilities and baseball support in the outfield are planned for improvements, as well as the soccer stadium. A design contractor has been selected, with scope of work informed by O.C. Health. Conceptual design is underway. OC Health has outlined its requirements; the first phase is funded with a project budget of $1 million, and the second phase is unfunded with a project budget of $1 million for the fiscal year 2021-2023. Potential sponsorship opportunities are being pursued.
2026 FIFA World Cup Training Site Agreement
On Tuesday, April 26, Great Park Board approved and authorized the City Manager to execute an irrevocable Training Site Agreement, and any other implementing agreements to carry out the intent of this action with the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), and the United States Soccer Federation to use the Great Park Sports Complex as a Training Site for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The Great Park Board also authorized the City Manager to negotiate and approve a mutually agreed upon “Training Site Rental Fee” for use of the Great Park Sports Complex as a Training Site for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.
Reflecting Ponds Improvements
In April 2022, staff provided a completion estimate of three to five months for the finalization of a design for water quality and fountain improvements. The renovation of the reflecting ponds is expected to be fully completed by the end of 2022.