Orange County makes deal to develop land next to Great Park

The Future Irvine Great Park

The view of the former El Toro Marine Corp. Air Station from the Irvine Great Park balloon ride.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement Tuesday with Lowe Enterprises to develop about 100 acres of county land at the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Irvine.

Supervisor Todd Spitzer said the county will work with the Irvine city government, which is developing the Great Park adjacent to the county-owned property.

In a news release, the supervisors said developing the property will come in three phases.

Funding was approved for the first phase, which is expected to take up to two years. During that time, Lowe Enterprises will decide what types of development, such as offices and restaurants, will be allowed on the property, and Lowe will create a master plan.  

"The second phase consists of development of the property’s backbone infrastructure, such as roads and utilities; cost estimates will be refined and brought back to the Board of Supervisors for approval," according to the release. "The third phase is the construction of the envisioned office buildings, hotels, restaurants and other buildings that would then be leased to tenants."

The air base was closed in 1999. 

Irvine recently agreed to a deal with a developer to build portions of the Great Park. 

The deal allows developer FivePoint Communities to build an additional 4,606 homes around the park in exchange for spending $172 million to build recreation and leisure amenities in about half of the 1,300-acre park. The developer already had a green light from the city to build about 4,900 homes.

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