Talk is cheap when it comes to planning a city within a city, but the price is high when it comes to actually doing it, as the Newport Beach-based Koll Co. is finding out in Irvine near the John Wayne Airport.
That is where the firm, a major West Coast-headquartered commercial and industrial property owner-manager and general contractor, has been building a mixed-use complex known as the Koll Center Irvine, and its price tag, when completed, is now estimated at a nice, round $1 billion.
That's how much the Koll Co. figures it will cost to build more than 4 million square feet of office space in 17 high- and mid-rise buildings, 1,850 rooms in four hotels, a multi-screen cinema, retail shops, restaurants and a major athletic club. More than 18,000 employees will work in the completed development during daytime hours.
A number of these employees are already working in the project because the Koll Co. has completed five office buildings, a 500-room hotel and two restaurants since starting work in 1981 on the 95-acre site, which is bisected by the San Diego Freeway and linked by the overcrossing of Von Karman Avenue.