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OC Approves Development Pact With Lowe Enterprises for El Toro Base

Lowe Enterprises to Master Plan and Develop Mixed-Use Project at 100-Acre Site in Irvine
January 29, 2014
The Orange County Board of Supervisors has approved an agreement with Lowe Enterprises to entitle and develop the county’s more than 100 acres at the long-shuttered Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Irvine.

The air base, closed way back in 1999, will be developed in three phases under the agreement. The supervisors approved funding for the $7 million, two-year first phase and the business plan, which includes determining which types of development will be allowed on the property, phasing in infrastructure and completing required environmental reviews and securing entitlements. Lowe will then draft a master plan to maximize development flexibility and revenue potential.

Michael W. McNerney, senior vice president of Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group, said the company will work with the county, city of Irvine and the community to develop a plan in accordance with Irvine’s trails and transit oriented development zoning.

The second phase consists of building basic infrastructure such as roads and utilities, while the third phase is the construction of leased office buildings, hotels, restaurants and other buildings.

Editor's Note: This article is excerpted in the current edition of In The Pipeline, CoStar Group's column tracking new development and construction. To receive the column by e-mail, simply join our distribution list.

North of the site is the planned Orange County Great Park, the official name for public use of the decommissioned air base. To the south is the Metrolink commuter train line and Amtrak, with Interstate 5 to the west and the Irvine Transportation Center to the east.

The site has five vacant and obsolete warehouses.

"We are working with the county to create a plan that incorporates innovative uses and a mixed-use program to provide high quality, sustainable, and market-driven development that will produce a revenue-generating master ground lease for the county and be an asset for the community and the region," added Robert Reitenour, senior vice president of Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group.

Lowe Enterprises’ current Southern California development projects include the 900,000-square-foot County Operations Center in San Diego and a mixed-use, residential and retail project in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles. The firm has been selected to develop the Washington/National transit oriented mixed-use development in Culver City and a mixed-use development in the IDEA District of downtown San Diego.
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