By the Numbers:
Pavilion Park grand opening
$700,000 to $1.5 million – The price range of a home at Pavilion Park
31 – Model homes available to be viewed
10,000 – Water bottles
4,500 – Cookies
105 – Event staff
14 – Golf carts
1 – Trolley
726 – New homes to be sold during the first phase
4,894 – Total homes north of the Great Park development
6 – Acres of open space with a pool, shops, basketball court and a tot lot.
Source: FivePoint Communities
Five things you may not know about the Pavilion Park development, says FivePoint Communities President and Chief Executive Officer Emile Haddad:
– “15 percent of the total homes built will be for people with low income.”
– “Currently, we have no plans for an age-restricted community, although we hope that the single-story homes are responsive to adults.”
– “We will be connecting Pavilion Park to the rest of the Great Park Neighborhoods with a bridge over Irvine Boulevard.”
– “This is a community which will adapt to the needs of the community as we move forward, and we are not closed-minded to anything.”
– “All the homes incorporate a feng-shui design and special consultants were brought in to make sure the street names did not offend ethnic groups.”
Tony Suskie, a driver at OC Trolley, said he didn’t expect Saturday to be a busy day.
As a trolley operator, he’s routinely hired to bring people to and from events similar to Saturday’s grand opening at Pavilion Park, the new residential development north of the Great Park in Irvine.
“Usually, there’s a lull,” Suskie said. “It’s busy for an hour, then there would be dead time in the next hour or two. But I’m surprised (today); it’s been nonstop.”
Suskie began work at 10 a.m. Less than three hours into his shift, he estimated he had taken more than 600 people from the dirt parking lot on Ridge Valley to the Pavilion Park visitor center two blocks away.
He said that was just the number of people riding in his trolley and didn’t account for the people shuttled in 14 golf carts from the parking lot to the center or those who parked and walked.
“There are easily a thousand people here,” Suskie said as of 12:18 p.m.
The mass of curious visitors and homebuyers came out on a warm weekend day to tour developer FivePoint Communities’ much-anticipated new neighborhood on the site of the former El Toro Marine Base.
Organizers expected anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 people to check out the 31 model homes available in the first phase of the development.
More than 100 staff members were hired to cater to the prospective homebuyers. Lemonade and iced-tea stands sat on each corner of the block, strawberry shortcake bars were handed out from a red ice-cream cart and more than 10,000 water bottles sat in tubs of ice for the people who walked around the neighborhood carrying a green and orange shopping bag that read, “Life will be different here.”
FivePoint Communities President and Chief Executive Officer Emile Haddad’s face beamed as bright as the orange tie he was wearing as he watched the mass of people walking in and out of the model homes that ranged in price from $700,000 to $1.5 million.
“It’s just an amazing feeling,” Haddad said. “We’ve gone through a lot to get to where we are now.”
FivePoint Communities is the development manager of Heritage Fields LLC, which purchased the 3,700 acres of the former El Toro Marine base in 2005.
The 726 homes on six acres are the first phase of what Haddad hopes to be a sprawling mega development that will encompass North and East of the Great Park, with a total of 9,500 homes, a new high school, sports complex, golf course, wilderness corridor and more set to be developed in the coming years.
This is the first phase in which 4,689 homes will be built at Pavilion Park. An additional 4,600 homes and the other developments East of the Park are currently being negotiated by FivePoint Communities and the City of Irvine.
The new residential development is a welcome sight for many prospective homebuyers who’ve grown accustomed to seeing the uniformity and Mediterranean style of Irvine Co., whose properties dominate the city.
At Pavilion Park, homebuyers previewed 31 single-family model homes, including single-story and two-story homes of American Heritage architecture. All the model homes available to be viewed were around the tot-lot and park to give homebuyers a different buying experience, Haddad said.
“I like the feel,” said Daniel Morgan, a 30-year-old from Costa Mesa. “It’s a different environment. All the houses are different colors, design and it has a rustic feel that my wife and I are into. It’s just a beautiful, well-thought-out community.”
Most of the curious visitors or homebuyers were young couples with toddlers in their arms.
T.J. Chen, a real estate agent at Grand Property, said she has a lot of Chinese clients who are drawn to Irvine because of the city’s reputation as one of the safest places to live and having a top-notched school district.
“Safety, education, and environment,” said Chen who brought two clients to the grand opening. “A great school is a top priority for them.”
Abe Barberena, a 30-year-old from Tustin, believes buying a home in the Great Park would be a great investment.
“With all the things they are planning to add, I feel very confident that the homes here are worth the price because of the area,” Barberena said.
Others, like Lily Chou, a 40-year-old who lives in Quail Hill, said she loves the multigenerational aspects of the home.
Many of the homes were spacious, with open kitchens, large backyards, and private quarters. The homes ranged from 2,500 to 3,500 square feet.
Chou and her family plan to upgrade to a larger home so she can house her mother and father, she said.
Haddad said the multigenerational component is what makes this development different from the rest.
“We wanted the three generations to live in one community,” Haddad said. “All of the homes were designed by FivePoints. That’s why we have single-story homes for retirees, and private rooms for college kids who come back home and may not be ready to go out into the world yet.”
“We wanted that connectivity with each other, nature and the generations,” Haddad said.
While some people just checked out the new development out of curiosity, many homebuyers were ready to close deals.
James Lin, a sales associate at Shea Homes, said within an hour of Shea Homes releasing nine homes in the first phase of its Sagewood development, six buyers placed a $30,000 deposit and pre-qualified. Those homes start at $900,000.
Kurtis Jones, a new homes consultant at Lennar Corp., said four of its eight Roundtree phase 1 properties have purchase agreements.
“We expect to sell out quickly,” Jones said.