Progress at the Great Park

Palm Court Arts Complex (Under Construction) - Photo: OC Great Park

Adam Elmahrek from Voice of OC reports this morning on the progress unveiled at the Great Park this weekend on the six-year anniversary of the 1,347-acre park. Thousands turned out to mark the unveiling of the 19.5-acre North Lawn and the Palm Court Arts Complex.

A vintage double-winged plane whirled through the sky above Irvine’s Great Park, leaving a bright orange trail. Down below, 15-month-old Gracie Mae Buser stared up in awe.

“She loves planes,” said her father, Dan Buser.

The Busers were among thousands who turned out Saturday to celebrate the opening of the 19.5-acre North Lawn and the Palm Court Arts Complex — two tangible accomplishments that park leaders can point to after years of delays and diminished expectations.

“In 20 years I’m going to look back and remember when it [the park] was nothing,” Buser said.

Apart from the additions, which include youth sports fields, a bike trail and artists’ studios; Saturday also marked the six-year anniversary of the 1,347-acre park.

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  7 comments for “Progress at the Great Park

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    July 11, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I was there Sunday for the Farmer’s Market; very busy with lots of people. Great quality produce at great prices ($2 a pounds for sweet peaches!). There were about 10 food trucks there too. Free parking and easy to get to off the Sand Canyon exit from the 5 freeway.

  2. It's the economy, stupid
    July 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Can’t one just imagine what the OC economy and job market would be like today if we had an international airport at El Toro?

    Or even if we still had Marines flying jets out of there today?

    How many jobs does an Orange Ballon ride generate and how many more years will I have to look at trees sitting in containers when I drive past this so-called Great Park?

    IMHO, a lot of money has been wasted and spent to create another Farmer’s Market location from which to sell cheap fruit.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    July 12, 2011 at 11:02 am

    having an airport is not necessarily an anchor of success. The Farmer’s Market was indeed nice but the new Palm Court, the new athletic fields and the preview park show progress on the Park’s development.

  4. lefty
    July 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm


    Some good points indeed, but $2 lb for Peaches right now is hardly cheap, at 2x-3x the going store rate.

    The irony of the former proposed jobs creating Commerical Airport at El Toro, is a few of the usual anti-commerce liberals, were joined in opposing it by many self-serving South County Conservatives, who’s personal agenda took priority over their usually espoused one.

    Now whe have a white Elephant – thanks primarly to a few unrealistic liberals, & a lot of NIMBY, hypocrite, South County Conservatives.

    • July 12, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      bigger peaches, fresher quality, organic…nope. It’s a deal.

      • lefty
        July 13, 2011 at 7:48 am

        I do like farmers markets, but picking them ripe off of one’s own organic tree(s) is the real deal, & the greenest way to go.

        The GP market is ok, but so are many held in city streets & shopping center parking lots.

        Frankly, after all thes years & the beautiful watercolor renderings, I’m surprised at the poor state of the park & the lack of real progress.

  5. July 13, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I have a couple of orange trees that provide the sweetest oranges I’ve ever had, so I hear you; And looks like my avocado tree is going to have a bumper crop for the holidays. The Farmer’s Market at UCI still offers the most choices (but no food trucks).

    The park has made tremendous progress; remember, the feds are still responsible for cleaning the soil of the chemicals dumped there for years.

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