Smaller Brea Place project with 653 apartments approved by Planning Commission – Orange County Register

A reworked, 653-unit proposal for the mixed-used Brea Place project near the Brea Mall was approved by the Planning Commission on Tuesday, June 27.

The developer, Hines, cut 94 apartments and lowered the buildings’ maximum heights from seven stories to five in answer to commissioners’ previous concerns about the project. The project’s retail space was also cut by more than two-thirds in the latest proposal submitted.

Brea Place is proposed to fill in empty spaces in a 30-acre office park at State College Boulevard and Birch Street near the Claim Jumper and just north of the Brea Mall.

The commission’s approval follows months of discussion between Texas-based Hines and Brea residents, who called for a significant reduction in the project’s size.

Along with the 653 apartments, Brea Place will also feature 5,000 square feet of commercial space and a 146-unit Marriott hotel. The project targets young, millennial professionals and empty nesters, said Bhavesh Parikh, development director at Hines.

About a dozen residents spoke at Tuesday’s meeting.

Dwight Manley, a significant property owner in Brea Downtown, called the project “a home run.”

However, while commending Hines for amending the proposal and communicating with them, many residents said they remain concerned about the additional traffic and noise Brea Place may bring.

“It’s a small, quaint city and we want to keep it that way,” longtime resident Rosemary Kleiser, 59, said.

Some commission members echoed the residents’ concerns, but said they were mostly satisfied with the changes Hines had made.

“It’s still a huge mass of density we have to get used to,” Commissioner Pat Fox said. “I am sure we’ll get used to it.”

City Planner Jennifer Lilley said previously a project like this is what city leaders have envisioned for that area of Brea to provide a diversity of housing options.

James McGrade, chair of the commission, recalled seeing meeting minutes from the 1980s when the…

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