A sports park that could eventually be more than double the size of Disneyland is on track to open early next year in Orange County's Great Park, developers said Tuesday.
FivePoint Communities said the first phase of the park will span 53 acres and include a 5,000-seat soccer stadium, along with 25 tennis courts, seven soccer fields, five volleyball courts and a playground. Future development plans bring the total size of the sports park to 175 acres.
But the sports park is just one piece of FivePoint's 688-acre pie — which is just one half of the roughly 1,200 acres encompassed by the Great Park, which sits on a former military base.
It's been two years since the groundbreaking of the project, and FivePoint Communities' CEO, Emile Haddad, said the whole project will likely be finished by 2018, with a total price tag of more than $250 million.
Tuesday's progress report was a way, Haddad said, to show the public positive things to look forward to in Great Park.
“The stigma that was associated with the Great Park was yesterday’s story, and today’s story is all about the exciting things that are happening," Haddad told KPCC.
That stigma is the decade-long effort to turn what used to be a U.S. military base into a space aimed to rival New York's Central Park. The effort drew criticism of mismanagement in 2014, after 12 years and $215 million were spent to develop just 230 acres of the roughly 1,200 acres.
“For years there’s been a lot of concern that this was not moving as quickly as a lot of people thought it should, but this is a very significant infrastructure project," Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer told KPCC. "Today with the unveiling of the first phase of the sports complex, this was just a showcase of another success in a long line of successes in the development of the Great Park.”
Plans for the remainder of the 175-acre sports park include a championship baseball and softball stadium, six other baseball fields, five other softball fields, six synthetic turf soccer fields, four basketball courts and 12 acres of turf flex fields for football, rugby or lacrosse.
Other plans for FivePoint's 688 acres include 75 acres of land for farming and agriculture, a golf course (that is still pending approval by the city) and 75 acres of landscaped recreational space for amenities like dog parks, Haddad told KPCC.
“We invited people to see what actually has happened in two years because we committed at the time that we got the approval, that would finish the park in five years, whereas, in the past people thought it would take 30 years for the park to be built,” Haddad said.