Uptown Newport Village will replace a pair of aging industrial buildings.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA—GlobeSt.com has learned that the first phase of Uptown Newport Village, a residential and retail project here set to break ground this month, will cost roughly $225 million to build. The project, launched by the Shopoff Group, will replace a pair of aging industrial buildings on 25 acres with a unique community of neighborhood shops, restaurants, parks and upscale homes and apartments. Total construction costs for the project are expected to exceed $500 million.

The Shopoff Group jointly acquired the Uptown Newport site with its capital partner, DRA Advisors, in 2010. Shopoff successfully secured Newport Beach City Council approval and entitlements for the project in 2013 and purchased DRA Advisors’ stake in the project last month.

Located along Jamboree Rd. between Birch St. and MacArthur Blvd., the project will be built in two phases. Phase 1, set to begin this month and targeted for completion in 2016, entails demolishing an existing office building, constructing an 11,500-square-foot retail center, building approximately 580 luxury apartments and condominiums and creating a park outfitted with such amenities as a concert green, courtyard with lounge-style seating and children’s tot lot.

When fully completed, the project will contain 1,244 luxury homes, numerous retail shops, two 1-acre parks open to the public, plazas, fountains and public paseos. Uptown Newport’s economic benefits include bringing 2,800 construction jobs to Newport Beach and more than $30 million in Phase 1 developer fees to the city.

As part of the initial phase, Irvine-based Shopoff and the Picerne Group purchased a 5-acre parcel within the project, on which they will develop 483 luxury apartments. The joint venture will own and manage the apartments, which are set to begin construction later this year, with Picerne handling development. A smaller parcel of 2.5 acres is currently being marketed by Province West to homebuilders for construction of luxury townhomes and condominiums.

“This is a cornerstone property and a gateway to Newport Beach, and we’re thrilled to launch the first phase of development, which will revitalize and transform the neighborhood near Koll Center Newport, UC Irvine and John Wayne Airport,” says William Shopoff, president and CEO of the Shopoff Group. “We are delighted to be partnering with the Picerne Group, which has an outstanding record of success in the development and long-term management of high-end apartment communities. We look forward to working with the Picerne Group for many years to come to provide a truly unique residential experience at Uptown Newport Village.”

Shopoff adds that the project “has generated very positive returns for our investors. We are pleased with the considerable response we have received from the development community and potential investors who have recognized the ongoing opportunity this project presents.”

Shopoff will serve as master developer for the site, building the overall infrastructure and the first of two 1-acre parks. The company will also install a state-of-the-art storm water runoff treatment system designed to protect and improve water quality in Newport Beach’s Back Bay.

Master-planned communities in Orange County have been making the news lately. For the second year in a row, the Villages of Irvine has been named top-selling master-planned community in the western US by the Robert Charles Lesher Co. The community, built by the Irvine Co.’s Community Development Co., sold 1,444 new homes in 2013.