C.J. Segerstrom & Sons plans to build offices and stores on 86 acres near its prized project, South Coast Plaza.
The Costa Mesa City Council agreed this week to accept the family-owned firm's applications for general plan amendments and zone changes that could allow the developments to go forward. The property is between the San Diego Freeway and Sunflower Avenue, just west of Fairview Road.
Most of the land would be used for office buildings, four to nine stories high. A 20-acre parcel alongside Harbor Boulevard could accommodate about 300,000 square feet of retail space, the company said.
Spokesman Paul Freeman declined to say Wednesday what form the retail complex will take, but that it will not include a strip mall, grocery stores or auto dealerships.
The development would be a considerable shift from the city's original plans for the property, which is currently zoned for residential and industrial use, said city planner Perry Valantine.
"It has the potential for bringing a number of new businesses into the city," he said. "And we certainly would stand to gain from the creation of those additional jobs."
The property--known as Home Ranch, because it is the Segerstrom's original homestead--is one of two large, mostly undeveloped parcels still owned by the Segerstrom family. The other is Armstrong Ranch in Santa Ana, a 90-acre rectangular parcel near South Coast Plaza Village that was named after the farmer who first owned it.
Segerstrom declined to estimate how much it might spend to develop the land. The company is talking with people interested in both the office and retail complexes, Freeman said, but he would not say whether the interested parties are developers who might buy the land or retailers interested in leasing space.
Segerstrom has a long trek ahead of it before the land can be developed. The council's 5-0 vote Monday night means only that the city is willing to consider a proposal to build the office and retail buildings on the sites.
An environmental impact report should be ready in four to five months and the first public hearing before the Planning Commission could be held by fall.
"We would hope to get back to the council before the end of the year," Freeman said. "We feel like we've got a plan. We think the market will respond favorably to what we're doing."
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C.J. Segerstrom & Sons is moving to develop 86 acres near South Coast Plaza. But zoning and general plan changes are needed before stores and offices can be built.
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