Hundreds of condos planned near John Wayne Airport
Conexant envisions sprawling retail-residential project in Newport Beach.
By JEFF OVERLEY
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
NEWPORT BEACH – Conexant Systems Inc. wants to build a sprawling retail-residential development near John Wayne Airport, officials said today.
The project, which doesn't yet have a formal name, is still in the conceptual phase. It will likely involve 700-900 condos, town homes and apartments, said Geoffrey Le Plastrier, president of a development management firm guiding Conexant's early plans, which city officials said were submitted last week.
The project would have ground-level retail and several towers ranging from four to 12 stories, Le Plastrier said. It would replace two commercial buildings and a parking lot in an area bordered by MacArthur Boulevard, Jamboree Road and Birch Street.
City voters last year approved a sweeping overhaul of the coastal town's general plan, with one provision allowing construction of roughly 2,000 new homes near the aviation hub.
"We're very excited to work with the city and their consultants to realize the vision that's outlined in the general plan update," Le Plastrier said. "We think it's going to be a good addition to the city's housing stock."
The company hopes to have all required approvals in 15 months, and then build the project in phases in several years.
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Newport firm submits proposal to city for a mixed-use community that would sit in area east of MacArthur Boulevard.
By Michael Miller - Daily Pilot
Newport Beach city officials are enthusiastic about a planned development that would bring condos and apartments and other sweeping changes near John Wayne Airport.
In late July, the Newport Beach technology firm Conexant Systems submitted a plan to the city for a mixed-use community containing homes, shops, a hotel and more in the area east of MacArthur Boulevard.
Measure V, an update to the city's general plan voters approved last November, allotted housing in the neighborhood surrounding the airport.
The company has yet to get approval for the project, but Assistant City Manager Sharon Wood and Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President Richard Luehrs said it would be a valuable asset to the city.
"Certainly, the tax base for the city of Newport Beach would go up, because as people pay property tax, the city gets a portion of that," Luehrs said. "Secondly, I think sales tax would increase because the people who would move into those units would look for close-by retail opportunities, and Fashion Island certainly offers that.
"I just see it as really positive for the area."
The plan submitted by Conexant envisions small, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods that would allow residents to shop or go to work on foot.
The area would feature large-scale residential buildings that house a number of families, with parking mostly relegated to underground structures.
Many buildings would also be mixed-use, with housing units on the upper floors and cafes, restaurants and other retail outlets on the ground.
Other ideas proposed by Conexant include a central plaza, community gardens and a dog park.
Geoffrey Le Plastrier, the president of the development management firm working with Conexant on the project, could not be reached for comment Friday.
According to Wood, the development would reduce traffic at many of the local intersections, since even those who didn't walk to their jobs might be driving out of the area in the morning.
"It takes some of the pressure off the same-direction traffic at those intersections," she said.
# MICHAEL MILLER may be reached at (714) 966-4617 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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