Springtime, a couple of months after Laguna Niguel was declared as the 29th city in Orange County, Jerry and Marilyn McCloskey shared what it’s like to live in a master-planned community. They shared what they had to share with a Los Angeles Times reporter.
The couple described it as quiet, temperate, and a majorly good place to live in for families. Jerry and Marilyn McCloskey.
The former mayor of Laguna Niguel quoted, “If ever there was a mistake here, it is that it should have developed a downtown more.” He added that the city is more focused on neighborhoods than the whole town. A city center will make settling in Laguna Niguel better.
The city took 29 years before listening to him, but we all agree that it’s never too late to open a Laguna Niguel downtown! Yes, a vibrant and exciting Laguna Niguel downtown is currently on the works.
Lisa Barlett, the 5th District Supervisor, said in a press release on July 24 that the new city center in town is going to bring a lot of wealth and other opportunities to the community.
She added that the Public-Private Partnership with the County and Laguna Niguel Town Center Partners, LLC will set an example for nearby cities. It will show how all can unite and work together to expand local economies. The partnership will bring a combination of housing, dining, and entertainment options to the residents of the city.
Laguna Niguel Town Center Partners, LLC is a partnership between Burnham Ward Properties (developer of SOCO & The OC Mix in Costa Mesa) and Sares-Regis Group (developer of Boardwalk in Huntington Beach).
In the press release last July 24, 2019, the new downtown will spread through a 200,000 square foot property next to the Laguna Niguel City Hall. It is set to have a ‘vibrant mixed-use commercial space’ for everyone.
Here’s what’s included in the plan:
Also, according to the press release, they want the public to know that they will give great attention to the spaces in between the buildings. They’ll make sure to pay homage to the city’s commitment to open spaces, natural landscape, and using the natural topography of the land.
People should not expect a lot of parking lots in the new city center, but that still can be changed. The speculation is based on Chris Payne’s statement (managing director of Sares-Regis Group). He mentioned that residents and guests alike would walk to an exciting array of restaurants, retail shops, and offices without the need to get in the car. He added that it would be a unique Orange County experience and a fantastic lifestyle.
Note that this is not Laguna Niguel’s first attempt to build a city center. Laguna Niguel and the County of Orange agreed on a plan from Shaheen Sadeghi’s LAB Holding in 2015. The project was the Agora Arts District Downtown. It has a similar site under development at present.
However, the plan was canceled in August 2017. The County of Orange soured on the deal and eventually withdrew it. According to an article by Voice of OC Story, the county officials did not tell Sadhegi and the City of Laguna Niguel about the cancellation until two months later.
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