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Trend Builds as Great Park Project Eyes Own Food Hall

Add Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine to the growing list of areas across Orange County looking to add a hip food hall to their developments instead of a more traditional retail center.

Aliso Viejo-based FivePoint Communities, which is overseeing the development of the residential and commercial areas surrounding Orange County Great Park, recently filed plans with the city of Irvine to redesign a 209-acre portion of the land, which is just south of Irvine Boulevard.

Warehouse

FivePoint—along with tweaks to plans for nearly 1,100 attached and detached homes made as a result of “changes in the housing market”—said in city filings that it wants to turn a warehouse on the former Marine base into a “community commercial site.”

The 39,150-square-foot building near the intersection of Irvine Boulevard and Pusan Way, dubbed “Warehouse 415,” would “be repurposed to include community event space, flex space, and a market hall similar to other repurposed buildings throughout Southern California,” according to city filings. A rooftop deck would be among its features.

The proposed retail project appears to be a few years away from opening. The site will be developed following the buildout of Beacon Park, the second residential community planned for Great Park Neighborhoods.

The 960-home Beacon Park development going up on land between Trabuco Road and Irvine Boulevard is scheduled to open for sales in a few months.

The former Marine base warehouse wanted for redevelopment is about the same size as the 40,000-square-foot Anaheim Packing House, which Costa Mesa-based LAB Holding Inc. opened last year with numerous restaurants in downtown Anaheim to rave reviews and big crowds.

The Anaheim building’s renovation into a multitenant food hall cost about $9 million, according to LAB Holding’s Shaheen Sadeghi, whose company has several other projects in the hopper. It’s planning to redevelop Laguna Niguel’s former courthouse into a mixed-use property, and also is in talks on the long-stalled Garden Grove Galleria site.

LAB Holding is working with Newport Beach-based Brooks Street on the Garden Grove project, which the developers say will include about 40,000 square feet of retail space, plus residential uses. Several floors of steel were erected at the Garden Grove Boulevard site, but prior developers abandoned construction about six years ago.

Laguna Niguel

In Laguna Niguel, LAB Holding is partnering with Laguna Beach-based Griffin Realty Corp. to redevelop a 22-acre site on Crown Valley Parkway next to City Hall.

Plans call for the county-owned land to get a mix of apartments, retail, restaurants, offices and event space under a proposed development called Agora.

The Tustin Legacy project on the county’s other former military base is now being redeveloped and also has a food hall in the works.

The local office of Dallas-based Lincoln Properties Inc. said it plans to build a 16,500-square-foot food hall as part of its ground-up Cornerstone creative-office project at the property in Tustin.

“Starting from scratch has its advantages but also some challenges,” said Lincoln Senior Vice President Kevin Hayes, whose company is also about to start a redevelopment project of a food court and shopping center on an Irvine property it bought this year on Michelson Drive near the airport.

Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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