H&LA Development Update: Irvine, California

Our recent research for a project near Irvine, California revealed some exciting new hospitality-related developments happening in the area. These developments will have an impact on tourism, employment, and the general economy in Irvine and the surrounding areas in 2023 and beyond.

  • In May 2023, the City of Irvine broke ground on the next major phase of development at Great Park. This $1 billion investment will include an aquatics facility, botanical gardens, and a 14,000-seat amphitheater developed in partnership with Live Nation. This project is now in the demolition and site preparation stages, with construction expected to begin in 2024. Once completed, the aquatics facility will serve as the training facility for USA Water Polo. The amphitheater will replace Irvine Meadows, a live music venue that closed in 2016 after 36 years of operation.
  • A recent analysis by the Los Angeles Times identified Irvine as the fastest-growing community in Orange County from 2019 to 2022. The 92618 ZIP Code, which includes the Great Park neighborhood, saw a net gain of more than 6,000 residents during this period, making it the fastest growing ZIP Code in the county. This distinction speaks both to the ongoing residential development in the Great Park neighborhood and to the neighborhood’s desirability among residents.
  • A new $1.3 billion medical complex is now under construction on the edge of the University of California Irvine campus. This three-building complex, dubbed UCI Health-Irvine, is being touted at the first all-electric hospital in the nation, and it is expected to create about 2,500 construction and health care jobs. UCI Health-Irvine is scheduled to be fully completed and operational by the end of 2025.
  • A new mixed-use development called ocV!BE is now under construction near the Honda Center indoor arena in Anaheim. This massive project will create 865,000 square feet of office space, two new hotels, over 30 eateries, a 5,700-capacity concert venue, and 20 acres of parks and open space. The ocV!BE project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024.
  • The Walt Disney Co. is currently planning a major renovation of the Pacific Wharf district within the California Adventure theme park. This area will be modeled on the fictional city of San Fransokyo, featured in the 2014 animated film Big Hero 6. Other recently announced projects within the 500-acre Anaheim resort district include the development of a new Pixar Place Hotel, a new Avengers-themed ride, and new restaurants for Downtown Disney.
  • The Knott’s Berry Farm theme park recently underwent major renovations ahead of the summer 2023 season, including an overhaul of the section known as Fiesta Village. The park also added a new roller coaster called Montezooma’s Revenge and completed major renovations to the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel.