About the Aliso Viejo Town Center
As a master-planned community developed under the authority of County of Orange, Aliso Viejo was envisioned to have up to 20,000 homes; 3,400 acres of parks, open space, recreation, schools and community facilities; and a central core comprised of 900 acres of business parks and commercial centers. The Aliso Viejo Planned Community Development Plan was approved in 1979 and established Aliso Viejo as the first planned community in California to envision a balance between the projected resident workforce and number of projected jobs within the City’s borders. The business parks and centrally located Aliso Viejo Town Center were expected to provide more than 22,000 jobs. To encourage live-and-work opportunities, the Development Plan ensured every home in Aliso Viejo was located within a half-mile of the business core and two miles of Aliso Viejo Town Center.
Aliso Viejo’s residential and business communities continue to thrive but the City is almost completely built-out and limited in new development opportunities. Without available land for new development, the City finds itself in a position to seek alternative development options to provide amenities that ensure the needs and desires of its residential and business communities are being met. Town Center is fortunate to have nearly a 100% occupancy rate and tenants are generally performing at satisfactory or above average levels. However, as a middle-aged center, Town Center faces many challenges in the future. A retail sector is constantly evolving and, at least two major new or substantially redeveloped shopping centers that would compete for the same customer and tenant base are proposed within a few miles. With the limited amount of retail space in Town Center and in Aliso Viejo in general, many residents are forced to shop and dine outside the City. In addition, according to a recent retail market study, “without additional retail and dining space, and with continued expansion and re-positioning of nearby competitive shopping centers, AVTC is at risk.”
As the primary retail, dining, and entertainment district in Aliso Viejo, Town Center cannot afford to experience a major decline. City representatives and Urbanus Group, the City’s implementation strategist for Town Center, met with and introduced preliminary conceptual plans to all property owners and/or their representatives and major tenants of Town Center. After a series of meetings with stakeholders and public study sessions, City staff presented the City Council with three different concept plans. On June 3, 2015, the City Council selected Concept Plan No. 2, instructed staff to continue refining the Aliso Viejo Town Center Vision and Implementation Plan for the Gateway District and execute the next steps detailed in Town Center Implementation Strategy. However, it should be noted that further refinements to Concept Plan No. 2 are anticipated and further public input will be encouraged throughout the process.
(See full-size rendering here)
Concept Plan No. 2 for the Gateway District
The Gateway District comprises approximately 21 acres of retail, restaurant and office uses. Concept Plan No. 2 proposes to add retail space wrapped around new structured parking and would also add additional office space and bring new residential opportunities to the Gateway District.
The City commissioned the preparation of market studies to determine precise levels of demand expected in multiple economic segments, including retail, office, residential and hotel space at the Aliso Viejo Town Center.
For more information:
Staff: Omar Dadabhoy
Director of Planning Services