A new Landmark in Orange County
It’s called The Landmark, and if the high-rise office and hotel project proposed across from John Wayne Airport is approved by the city of Irvine and the Airport Land Use Commission, a landmark it will become.
On a 7-acre site near MacArthur Boulevard and Campus Drive on the Irvine side of the Newport Beach/Irvine border, developer Great Far East Inc. plans to erect two towers – a 19-story, 448,200-square-foot office building and a 15-story, 386-room, four-star hotel. Included on the site would be a 2,089-vehicle parking structure.
Designed by the noted New York architectural firm Pei Cobb Freed, the hotel is envisioned as a U-shaped structure with a second-level pool, meeting space, and 13,665 square feet of retail and restaurants. LPA Inc.’s Irvine office has been selected to work with Pei Cobb Freed on the project.
Great Far East acquired the site, part of the Colton Plaza office complex, in 2015. Two office buildings and a vacant restaurant building on the site would be demolished to make way for the proposed project. Great Far East officials say construction of the office tower will not begin until it is 40 percent pre-leased and estimate the building will open in three years “if all goes well.” No time frame for construction of the hotel and no potential operator have been announced.
Balboa Peninsula trolley on a roll
The city of Newport Beach has decided to see whether a free trolley might be an answer to traffic congestion and parking problems on Balboa Peninsula. The Balboa Peninsula Trolley will operate every Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 3.
Serving 19 stops along the peninsula beginning at a free parking lot on the southwest corner of the Hoag Hospital campus at West Coast Highway and Superior Avenue, four trolleys run every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. all the way to the Balboa Pier. Stops include Lido Marina Village, the Newport Pier, Balboa Village and Marina Park.
The service, provided by Professional Parking of Signal Hill, is being financed by a grant from the Orange County Transportation Authority and by Newport Beach parking revenues. The city is renting 40 parking spaces from Hoag Hospital for the one-year pilot program.
Melvyn’s goes for the facelift
When not dining in one of Orange County’s many fine restaurants, one of my favorite haunts is Melvyn’s in the historic Ingleside Inn in downtown Palm Springs. This is where Newport Beach resident John Wayne idled…