An artist's rendering of Five Points Communities' vision of the Great Park.
As of late September, all five city council members had expressed
interest in the deal. But approval was still uncertain, as some had
concerns surrounding control and Haddad’s role in the final say over the
actual development of the park. Still others wondered how revenue from
the retail center associated with the sports village might be split, if
at all. Differences in Haddad’s vision of the Great Park from the city’s
original vision also were at issue.
But when you consider
the city’s options and what is at stake for Irvine, arguably the
county’s most important city – along with the rest of the county, which
will benefit for generations to come if the park is completed – Haddad’s
plan is a bolt of lightning that offers a realistic way to get what
officials want and the public deserves.
I believe the Great
Park, and how it is ultimately delivered to the citizens of Orange
County, is the single most important county project in the first half of
this century. Its impact as a source of open space, recreation, culture
and pride – and potential tax revenue – is second to none. But the city
of Irvine must keep this massive opportunity on the right rail moving
Five Point Communities has much to gain with
completion of the Great Park and its promised amenities. This will help
them sell a lot of homes. But county residents also have much to gain –
and on a scale and quality that befit this region – if this project is
finished sooner than later. It would be a shame if politics of the past
or agendas of the present derail an opportunity to move this
public-private venture ahead at light speed.