Lowe wants to entitle and develop more than 100 acres at the former Air Station.

IRVINE, CA-The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a comprehensive agreement with Lowe Enterprises to entitle and develop more than 100 acres at the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Irvine.

The agreement outlines a three-phased approach to developing the property.  The board approved funding for the first phase and the business plan. Included will be a determination of which types of development will be allowed on the property and completion of the required environmental reviews. The first phase of planning is estimated to cost about $7 million and take 24 months to complete, including development of a corresponding master plan to maximize development flexibility and revenue potential.

“We are grateful to the board of supervisors and county staff for selecting our firm to partner with them on this rare opportunity,” said Michael McNerney, senior vice president of Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group.  “We will continue to work with the County, the City of Irvine and the local community to develop a master plan for this unique site in accordance with the City of Irvine’s trails and transit oriented development zoning.”  Lowe’s work will include creating an infrastructure phasing plan as well as securing entitlements.

The second phase consists of development of the property’s backbone infrastructure, such as roads and utilities; cost estimates will be refined and brought back to the Board of Supervisors for approval.  The third phase is the construction of the envisioned office buildings, hotels, restaurants and other buildings that would then be leased to tenants.

The site is bounded by the planned Orange County Great Park Master Plan to the north, the Orange County Transportation Authority Metrolink and Amtrak to the south, California Interstate 5 to the west and the Irvine Transportation Center to the east. It currently houses 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.

Los Angeles-based Lowe Enterprises is a leading national real estate investment, development and management firm, which over the past 41 years, has developed, acquired or managed more than $21 billion of real estate assets nationwide.