Bordered by Tustin to the north, Lake Forest to the east, Newport Beach to the south, and Costa Mesa to the west, the master-planned city of Irvine encompasses around 66 square miles. It’s a vibrant blend of carefully planned neighborhoods, retail and commercial areas, open space and parks, making it one of the most desirable areas to live in Orange County. The city was named after the Irvine Company, which developed it during the 1960s from the site that used to be the original Irvine Ranch, with architect William Pereira designing the layout that involved dividing the land into townships called villages.
Irvine’s mission statement is “to create and maintain a community where people can live, work, and play in an environment that is safe, vibrant, and aesthetically pleasing,” and it has so far stayed true to its vision, as the city has been ranked numerous times on lists of the Best Places to Live in the USA.
Housing options in Irvine are a diverse mix of styles and designs that adopt the architectural theme of a particular village, like Spanish and neo-eclectic in El Camino Real; contemporary and Moroccan in Irvine Spectrum; French Country, Italian, and Spanish Colonial in Northpark; Craftsman in Northwood; Tuscan in Orchard Hills; Shed style in Rancho San Joaquin; Mediterranean in Westpark, and more. Single-family residences, sprawling estates and luxury mansions are abundant, as well as townhouses and condominiums.
The Irvine Spectrum Center is a large shopping center complex that was built and subsequently expanded over a decade, beginning with its construction in 1995. The complex has over 100 shops and dining establishments, featuring well-known chains and brands like American Apparel, Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble, BRIO Tuscan Grille, Chipotle, Forever 21, H&M, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Ruby’s Diner, Starbucks, Subway, Target, and many more. There’s also an Edwards 21-screen IMAX & RPX cinema complex, a Ferris wheel called the Giant Wheel, a carousel, and an illuminated fountain.
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