Irvine Company moves on 1,200-home development

OC’s largest landlord has eyed Orange Heights project for decades

The Irvine Company's Charles Fedalen Jr. and The Orange Heights Master Plan (The Irvine Company, Getty Images)
The Irvine Company's Charles Fedalen Jr. and The Orange Heights Master Plan (The Irvine Company, Getty Images)

One of the West Coast’s most prominent developers plans to break ground on a major residential community in Orange County after two decades of planning.

The Irvine Company, the Newport Beach-based commercial giant that ranks as OC’s largest largest landlord, will start construction this fall on its Orange Heights community in central OC, the firm announced. The company launched a website for the development on Wednesday, the Orange County Business Journal reported.

The residential community, located south of the Irvine Regional Park, is now slated to encompass 1,180 homes, divided between 1,066 single family homes and 114 multifamily units.

Earlier plans had called for as many as 12,000 homes, and then 4,000, before the Irvine Company scaled back the project again several years ago in order to preserve more open space on the Irvine Ranch, the massive chunk of land the company has controlled for more than 150 years; the latest plans also include public hiking, equestrian and bike trails.

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Irvine Company executive Dave Prolo has said the Orange Heights development, reflects the company’s commitment both to “long-term master planning and open space preservation”; the development itself is located on nearly 400 acres, while the entire Irvine Ranch encompasses 145 square miles, representing nearly a fifth of the county’s land area and a significant portion of its remaining green space.

In recent years the firm has also been prolific throughout other parts of Southern California, including with the development of a 1.1 million-square-foot office park earlier this year it also sold a luxury Santa Monica apartment building at a possible record price.

— Trevor Bach