Building the Orange County Great Park: Bring in the Revenue

This is the third post in a series on the Orange County Great Park development. For yesterday’s post, see “Building the Orange County Great Park: The Budget.”

In yesterday’s post, I wrote that Lennar’s development plans have changed and therefore some of the residential tax money that Irvine had planned to use for the Great Park development will not be readily available. This has caused some to speculate that the demise of Irvine’s Great Park development is near. However, as I mentioned in that post, in addition to the retail sales taxes and commercial property taxes from Lennar’s development that will be available in the near term, other revenues will also be available to build the public portion of the Orange County Great Park. These include accrued interest on money on hand, income from property leases, grants, private donations, advertising, corporate sponsorships, admission fees, and corporate and non-profit partnerships. Many of these corporate and non-profit organizations have stated their willingness to raise funds and sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

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Here are a few examples:

  • Numerous businesses have expressed willingness to commit funds to development in the Great Park. For example, Wild Rivers in conjunction with the Discovery Museum want to partner on building a water park, and various businesses want to partner on building the sports park.
  • Numerous organizations have expressed willingness to commit funds to build cultural and non-profit facilities. For example, the National Archives is interested in building a west coast facility at the Great Park, and the County of Orange Recorder Office has pledged support for this. Also, the Children and Families Commission approved an MOU for the planning and development of a non-profit children and families resource center at the Great Park. Second Harvest food bank already has a facility on the Great Park grounds.
  • Great Park land will continue to be leased for uses such as RV storage and agriculture.
  • The Great Park Conservancy is raising money for a demonstration garden.
  • Senator Barbara Boxer pledged to seek federal fund for the development of a 30- to 50-acre community farm, restoration of a World War II hangar that would be available for public use, and building a storm water reclamation and management system.

So, yes, the housing market is affecting the Great Park development. Fortunately, many options are available to fund the development, and the necessary adjustments are being made.

I had thought that this would be the end of my posts on the Great Park development until at least next month. However, I am finding that I might have more to say on this. So I just might write a bit more on this in the upcoming week. Then it will be on to other topics.