Orange County Business Journal

FivePoint Puts $211M More on Table for Great Park

Mark Mueller Thursday, August 30, 2012

The company planning homes and other commercial development around the Orange County Great Park in Irvine has submitted a proposal, and guaranteed funding, to kick-start construction work at a large portion of the 1,300-acre park.

FivePoint Communities Management Inc.—the Aliso Viejo-based development manager of Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods project – has offered to pay $211 million towards construction of Great Park facilities over the next few years.

Another $430 million would be provided by the developer to maintain about 1,000 acres of the park over the next 30 years.

“It’s a huge number, but it’s a commitment we’re willing to make,” FivePoint Chief Executive Emile Haddad said on Wednesday.

Funding for the long-delayed park, planned on the site of the former El Toro Marine base, has been in limbo for most of the year, after state of California eliminated its long-standing redevelopment agencies.

The cuts included an Irvine agency that was expected to raise nearly $1.5 billion for the development of the actual Great Park component of the former El Toro base.

Tax revenue from home sales at the 3,700-acre Great Park Neighborhoods also would be used to fund the actual park’s development. Groundwork for the first 720 homes being built by the developer is now well underway near Portola Parkway, with sales expected to begin next year.

Initial plans call for FivePoint to build about 5,000 homes on its portion of the former marine base. The new funding proposal would allow FivePoint to build a total of about 10,700 homes.

Fivepoint’s vision for the Great Park call for an Olympic-style sports village, a lake, extensive parklands and other facilities and amenities.

The largest difference between the latest plan and older proposals is the elimination of a man-made canyon, according to Haddad.

More details of the new Great Park plan will be in the September 3 edition of the Business Journal.