Planning & Future Development

The Orange County 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. See below for more details on current projects at the Great Park. For a map of future plans for the Great Park, visit the Great Park Tomorrow webpage.

Great Park Monthly Development Report

Western Sector

Western Sector Roadways

The update to the roadway network in the Western Sector will be completed in October 2019. The roadway project provides a backbone for future development in the Western Sector, with a budget of $11.8 million.

Western Sector Edge Landscaping

This project complements the newly constructed roadways by providing landscaping along the sideways and road edges. The project is in its final design phase, with a budget of $4,375,000.

Visitors Center Plaza Rehabilitation

Preliminary design has begun on an update of the hardscape and infrastructure in the existing Visitor Center Plaza, with plans to integrate with the newly opened Sports Complex and evaluate relocation of the carousel. The project will move forward in coordination with the construction of the Great Park Administration Building. Completion of construction documents for a public bid process is expected in the second quarter of 2020. The project budget is $3,860,000.

Great Park Administration Building & Parking

The project replaces temporary operation trailers, and provides design and construction administration services for the development of administrative and operational space for City of Irvine Community Service and Irvine Police Department teams at the Great Park. A needs assessment and site location is complete, and final space programming and design have begun. Completion of construction documents for public bid process is expected in the second quarter of 2020. The project budget is $25 million.

Western Sector: Development Partner Projects

Pretend City Children's Museum

City staff and Pretend City officials are finalizing the terms of a proposed pre-development agreement and lease to bring to the Great Park Board at a December 2019 meeting. The proposed facility will develop five acres of land and a 55,500-square-foot facility in the Western Sector on the Civic Site. The development has a projected $54 million budget funded through First 5 Orange County funds and a capital campaign.

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. 

Western Sector: Proposed Projects

Proposed projects within the Western Sector of the Great Park include a water polo facility, field house, and parking structure, with costs estimated between $200 million and $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)

Great Park staff and CFM-SLC team members are working to complete items in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and will return to the Great Park Board at its January 2020 meeting with a location and Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA).

The proposed facility will develop approximately 30,000 square feet of educational and museum space on five acres adjacent to the joint training facility. The CFM-SLC has a projected $25 million development cost and will be privately funded. 

Police Fire Training Facility

As part of the Orange County Fire Authority Settlement, 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, classrooms, and indoor/outdoor training facilities on a 40-acre site alongside the CFM-SLC's adjacent five acres. The project is currently in development with a design budget of $2 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 is 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. For more information, visit the City's Veterans Cemetery webpage here.

Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens have been a consistent presence in the planning of the Orange County 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. No funding is identified to date.

Cultural Terrace

Wild Rivers Parking Lot

The project consists of design and preparation of plans for the construction of an approximately 14.7-acre parking lot (approximately 1,225 stalls) that includes precise grading, landscape planting and irrigation plans, lighting plans, striping plans, and utility plans. The parking lot is to provide spaces for visitors to the Cultural Terrace and future Wild Rivers Water Park. It is currently in its preliminary design phase, with a design budget of $500,000.

Cultural Terrace: Proposed Projects


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 in December 2019, after meetings with the amphitheater sub-committee and Live Nation.

American Museum of Natural History

In November 2018, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) visited the Orange County Great Park and held discussions with Great Park Board Members and City management regarding the development of a West Coast branch. AMNH is finalizing its analysis of development options in the Great Park. Staff will return to the Board with an update in the first quarter of 2020 once the analysis is complete.

Cultural Terrace: Development Partner Projects

Wild Rivers Water Park

Wild Rivers and City staff are finalizing the terms of a proposed Form of Lease to bring to the Great Park Board at its November meeting. The proposed facility will develop 25.5 acres of land in the Cultural Terrace along Marine Way and Skyhawk, with approximately 54,000 square feet of facilities. The development has a projected $50 million budget, funded privately.

History & Key Documents

Learn about the history of Great Park planning here. Review key documents in chronological order here