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After housing slump, 1,100 homes to open at Tustin Legacy

After housing slump, 1,100 homes to open at Tustin Legacy

Single-family homes are being built at Tustin Legacy in the community of Greenwood across from The District.

• Tustin Field I: 376 homes built in 2006 at the northwest corner of Edinger and Harvard avenues. Includes a mix of paired homes, clustered homes and townhomes, with 78 units income-restricted.

• Tustin Field II: 189 single-family detached homes built in 2006 at the southwest corner of Edinger and Harvard avenues.

• Columbus Square: 1,075 homes bordered by Edinger Avenue to the north, Kensington Park Drive to the east, Valencia Avenue to the south and Severyns Road to the west. Includes 219 single-family homes, plus a mix of condos and townhomes, with 25 percent income restricted.

• Columbus Grove: 465 homes completed in 2012 on land bordered by Moffett Drive to the north, Harvard Avenue to the east, Warner Avenue to the south and Jamboree Road to the west. Includes 279 single family homes, plus triplex and income restricted units.

• Anton Legacy: 225-unit affordable complex that is move-in ready at 3100 Park Ave. Residents are expected to move into the first 120 units starting this weekend, with the last 105 units ready to go in one month.

• Amalfi Apartments: 533-unit complex nearing completion at 16000 Legacy Road. Residents have started to move in to some units, with leasing open now.

• Greenwood: 375 single-family homes under construction between Jamboree and Tustin Ranch roads, north of Warner Avenue. Model homes are due to open in April, with the first families moving in this summer.

A prime pocket of real estate, smack in the middle of Orange County, was halfway built out when the recession hit.

Developer Shea Homes bailed in 2010. That left Tustin Legacy — spread over 1,584 acres that were once part of Tustin Marine Corps Air Station — a jarring mix of tightly packed homes and open fields, modern retail and aging military installations.

After five years of planning, infrastructure work and construction, the second half of Tustin Legacy will finally start to welcome its first residents in 2015.

“I’d say the next two to three years are going to be very busy out there,” City Manager Jeff Parker said. “And we’re very happy about that.”

The first residents moved in over the weekend at Anton Legacy, a 225-unit apartment complex across from The District shopping center. The entire complex should be open by mid-April, company CFO Trisha Malone said, with 60 income-restricted units still available for lease.

Amalfi Apartments should finish construction of its 533-unit complex in the spring. Irvine Co. is building the luxury apartments east of Tustin Ranch Road, adjacent to The District, and spokesman Bill Rams with Cornerstone Communications said leasing is strong.

Standard Pacific and its partner builders are also making progress on Greenwood, a 375-home community that marks the first single-family homes to be built at Tustin Legacy in three years. Details are trickling out about spacious floor plans and pricing for Greenwood’s four neighborhoods, with model homes expected to open in April and first residents moving in this summer.

Together, the three developments are expected to add 1,133 homes to the 2,100 or so now in Tustin Legacy. That should boost the population there by around 2,700 people.

With momentum building once again, one major question remains: What will become of the rest of Tustin Legacy?

Original plans by Shea Homes called for building another 1,000 homes, 6.7 million square feet of commercial space and 170 acres of parks on vacant land surrounding the massive blimp hangars at the center of Tustin Legacy.

But city staff has been working for some time on an update to the specific plan for that area, Parker said. While they’re being careful not to make changes that would draw more traffic, Parker said it looks like the new plan will call for a bit less commercial space and a higher density of homes — particularly to the north, near the Metrolink station along Edinger Avenue.

A draft of that specific plan should be complete and ready for public review by the end of March, Parker said.

In two or three months, the city hopes to select a company to develop Cornerstone I and II. Those commercial zones will feature “high-tech, high-end office buildings” at Armstrong Avenue and Barranca Parkway, Parker said.

“Hopefully we can attract some internationally and nationally known companies to come to Tustin,” Parker said.

Construction should also start this summer on Veterans Sports Park at Tustin Legacy, along Valencia Avenue at Severyns Road. It will be the city’s largest park at 31.5 acres, with 23 lighted fields and courts, a skate park, water play area and veteran’s memorial.

The city still has to overcome its biggest challenge in figuring out the best way to reuse the historic blimp hanger that towers over Tustin Legacy, Parker said. The Navy still owns both hangers but plans to transfer one to the city and the other to the county.

So long as final plans firm up and the economy stays on track, Parker said he expects the entire Tustin Legacy area to be built out within the next 10 years.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7963 or BStaggs@OCRegister.com

The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Real Estate News