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.
Now three more office buildings, two additional hotels and a third free-standing restaurant are under construction. In addition, a 500-room hotel, two restaurants, the athletic club and four office buildings, totaling more than 1.1 million square feet of office space, are planned for completion in 1987.
In 1989, a nine-story office building and two 12-story towers are expected to be completed, and in 1991, two 12-story office towers and the multi-screen cinema are due to bring the entire complex to fruition.
Langdon Wilson Mumper Architects is master planner and architect for the north site, except for the hotels. Lonny Gans & Associates is developing a fine arts program for the center. POD Inc. has been retained as landscape architect. And Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Co., Columbia Savings & Loan Assn. and Glacier Park Co. are joint venture partners with the Koll Co. on the immense development.