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Great Park Board approves comprehensive park design

IRVINE, CALIF.—The Orange County Great Park Corporation board approved the Comprehensive Park Design for the Great Park presented by Ken Smith, master designer of the Great Park, and the Great Park Design Studio. Design approval moves the 1,347-acre Great Park from the planning and design phase to the production phase.

The 1,347-acre Orange County Great Park is being developed in the city of Irvine on a 4,700-acre decommissioned military base.

The park is being developed in the city of Irvine on the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, a 4,700-acre decommissioned military base that was closed in 1999. Lennar Corporation, one of the nation’s largest public homebuilders, purchased the 57-year-old base through public auction in February 2005 for $649.5 million. A development agreement between Lennar and the city of Irvine gave Lennar limited development rights in return for more than 1,300 acres in the center of the base. This land is being developed as the Orange County Great Park.

"The Comprehensive Park Design is an important milestone," said Larry Agran, chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation board. "It reflects nearly three years of hard and productive work on the part of Master Designer Ken Smith and his talented team. Our philosophy has always been plan first, then build. The completion of this comprehensive design enables us to begin production of major elements of the park."

Design elements include the Sports Park, Wildlife Corridor, Agua Chinon, upper and lower canyon, the Lake, the Bosque, agriculture elements, and many other features identified by a variety of stakeholders throughout the planning and design process. The Comprehensive Park Design features sustainable infrastructure, including renewable energy generation, non-polluting park shuttles, connections to mass transit, water reclamation and natural water treatment systems, and recycling of runways to build a variety of park features.

"I have said many times that one does not build a park, one grows a park," Smith said. "This allows us to begin growing elements of the park now and create additional ones in the future with full confidence that it will fit together to create a wonderful experience for park visitors."
More information is available online at www.ocgp.org.