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Author: Roger Bloom

Council Reviews Cost Analysis Report for Veterans Cemetery

The Veterans Cemetery proposed for Gypsum Canyon in Anaheim is estimated to cost some $100 million more than the previously proposed site in Irvine’s Great Park, according to a City review of available public reports on the plans.

In January, Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva and State Senator Tom Umberg released a report from the California Department of General Services estimating the direct costs of the Gypsum Canyon plan at $126 million. In an accompanying press release, Quirk-Silva invited public analysis of the report.

As part of the public analysis, Irvine Vice Mayor Larry Agran asked City staff to review the report and compare it with projected costs for development of the Great Park site, which was approved by the City’s voters in an election in 2018 and again in 2020 by the City Council when the Council adopted a citizen initiative that had garnered some 20,000 Irvine resident signatures.

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Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum Coming to the Great Park

The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum is preparing to land at its new permanent home in the Great Park.

The Irvine City Council recently approved a pre-development agreement that should lead to the groundbreaking for the museum as early as next year.

A state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot museum is being built in the Cultural Terrace area of the Great Park, adjacent to the existing Sports Complex.

It will feature more than 40 aircraft as well as related artifacts and displays — including an ejection seat, radar, night vision and air traffic control exhibits. There will also be a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education facility.

Meanwhile, aircraft for the new museum are being housed and refurbished in Hangar 296.

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The Deal That Keeps on Giving: The Gateway Preserve

Last year’s agreement among the City, Irvine Company and All American Asphalt has already resulted in the closure of the noxious plant that was making life miserable for thousands of North Irvine residents.

Now that deal, brokered by Vice Mayor Larry Agran with Council support, is on the verge of also putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the City’s coffers.

Last year’s deal had All American Asphalt agreeing to sell its North Irvine plant and property to the City. The City would then shut the plant down and use the site and adjacent City-owned parcels to create a 700-acre nature preserve.

The Irvine Company agreed to dedicate to the City a 70-acre parcel at Jeffrey Road and Portola Parkway zoned for residential development, which the City would then sell to developers to cover the cost of purchasing the plant.

The cost of the asphalt plant purchase and site cleanup was estimated at $330 million, and the sale of the residential property was estimated to just about cover that.

Now, a year later, the bids are in and the Council has accepted Brookfield Residential’s offer of $600-650 million for the land and development rights to what’s been dubbed Gateway Village.

To read more, click here.

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