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The Irvine Company Headquarters building in Newport Beach, CA.

The Irvine Company is a privately held real estate development company based in Newport Beach, Orange County, California.

Contents

Operations

The Irvine Company develops suburban master-planned communities throughout central and southern Orange County. In addition, it owns and manages office buildings in West Los Angeles, San Diego and the Silicon Valley. Donald Bren is its Chairman and sole shareholder.

The 94,000-acre (380 km2) Irvine Ranch, of which the company retains 44,000 acres (180 km2) for development and the remainder as wilderness and recreational preserves, remains its core holding. The Ranch encompasses almost one fifth of Orange County, from the Pacific Ocean and Newport Harbor, Laguna Beach, and Santa Ana Canyon, to the boundary of the Cleveland National Forest.

A partial list of cities within the boundaries of the Irvine Ranch includes:

The Irvine Company also owns several commercial areas, such as The The Market Place, Fashion Island, which Newport Beach's Newport Center district surrounds, and the Irvine Spectrum Center.

History

The Irvine Company grew out of the 185-square-mile (480 km2) ranch James Irvine I, Benjamin and Thomas Flint, and Llewellyn Bixby founded in 1864 from three adjoining Mexican land grants. Irvine and his partners began by purchasing the Rancho San Joaquin, which constitutes the coastal half of the present-day ranch, from Jose Antonio Sepulveda. A drought that killed his livestock forced Sepulveda to sell his ranch in 1864. The partners purchased Rancho Lomas de Santiago—largely unfarmable due to its steep, hilly terrain—in 1866 from William Wolfskill, who had used it largely as a sheep ranch. Flint, Bixby and Irvine were among the claimants of a title lawsuit that divided Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana in 1868.

In 1894, Irvine's son, James Irvine II, incorporated the land holdings as the Irvine Company.

In 1953, the National Scout Jamboree was held on Irvine Ranch land in the area of what is now Fashion Island Shopping Center. Jamboree Road, running from Newport Beach to Orange, was built to allow people to travel to the jamboree from nearby train stations.

In 1959 the Irvine Company donated 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) and sold 500 acres (2.0 km2) near Newport Beach to the University of California for construction of a new UC campus (map). The university and company together designed the Irvine Ranch Master Plan for developing the surrounding area. The city of Irvine, whose citizens officially incorporated it in 1971, grew around the campus.

Fictional accounts

  • The Irvine Company is the model for The O.C.'s The Newport Group, Orange County's most-powerful real estate developer.
  • The Company was also an inspiration for the Bluth Company on the television series Arrested Development.

External links

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