In the beginning of October, I was invited to the Great Park in Irvine, Ca. The reason for my visit was to learn about the park and to see the benefits, as a realtor, I would partake in. Before I indulge in explaining what the Great Park has in store for us, I want to share a little background on the park.
Marine CorpsAir Station (MCAS) El Toro was created during World War II. The site was used for one of many West Coast Marines air stations. Over time, debates on how to best utilize the land divided city members and council members. Finally, in 2003, the plan to create a park in honor of the land was approved. As a result, the Great Park Corporation was created to oversee the development. The construction of The Great Park was an accomplishment for the city of Irvine and on July 14, 2007, the first attraction opened. The Great Park Balloon is a 72 foot balloon, lifted by 210,000 cubic foot of helium. This intriguing attraction can carry 25 passengers and offers a 360 degree view. If you decide to visit this attraction be prepared to reach up to 400 feet, where you can view over 40 miles of land in the southern orange county area. In 2010 another attraction was added to the park. The Great Park Carousel, features up to 15 different animals and can carry up to 36 passengers. This two minute ride reaches a speed of 4.5 miles per an hour and is a delight for children.
The Great Park is not just a center for fun attractions; it also holds art galleries and art studios. This plaza has a cultural heritage, and includes a working farm, pumpkin patch and community garden. The Great Park Farms is 100 acres and provides locally grown organic produce to the community. This farm also helps Orange County gardeners grow their own organic produce. During the fall season, the Great Park turns in to a Harvest Festival, where families and children can enjoy face painting, rides, and a variety of ripe pumpkins, ready for carving! This multi faceted park serves as a garden and attraction to the community of Orange County.
Only a select few were invited to this tour and although the information was only given to those who attended, it is in my greatest interest to share the information with you as well. Proposed in late August, was the development of homes adjacent to the park. The new project will take up 1250 acres and will consist of 4894 homes. The remaining space will be devoted to community commercial uses. This project will create 16500 new jobs, and will give the city of Irvine a 600,000 fiscal benefit each year. The company in charge of this operation will also be donating 40.5 million to the Great Park over the next 5 years. The Great Park is a historical landmark in Orange County and provides our economy with a surplus amount of benefits, financially and spiritually.
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900