Deal could bring sports complex to Orange County's Great Park

The Great Park in Irvine celebrates its seventh anniversary this weekend.
The Great Park in Irvine celebrates its seventh anniversary this weekend. Photo courtesy of Orange County Great Park Corporation

The Chairwoman of the Orange County Great Park Corporation, Beth Krom, is scheduled to deliver a “State of the Park” address Thursday morning in Irvine. In it, she's expected to outline a new vision of a lush park surrounded by more homes, and a sports complex.

The former marine base has been envisioned as a park that could rival or exceed New York City’s Central Park. But the park has not evolved into an area of orchards, trails and athletic fields as planned.

When the state of California yanked $1 billion from the project, the city was left short of the money needed to make the grand vision a reality.

Irvine is suing the state to get the absent funds. In the meantime, the city is considering a proposal from a home developer to double the number of planned homes surrounding the park.

Under the proposal, developer Five Point Communities would build 10,000 homes, and net the city $125-$175 million to pay for a sports complex at the Great Park.

Just last year, Irvine approved a plan from Five Point Communities for about 5,000 homes.

The proposed changes were outlined in a draft environmental report released by the city Tuesday.

The Great Park marks its seventh anniversary this weekend.

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