James Irvine and three partners purchase 120,000 acres assembled through Mexican and Spanish land grants for an estimated $26,000. The land in what's now Orange County, Calif. eventually forms the 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch—what many today consider the finest example of master planning in the country.
The Irvine Ranch is incorporated and becomes The Irvine Company.
Irvine Company makes its first public land donation of 304 acres for Irvine Regional Park, formerly known as the "Picnic Grounds" to Orange County.
James Irvine II sets up permanent residence with a family home on The Irvine Ranch near what's now Irvine Boulevard and Myford Road in Irvine. The house sits in the middle of the company's agricultural operations and close to a stagecoach station. The house is severely damaged by fire in 1965. A replica is built on the site in 2008 and is now home to the Katie Wheeler Public Library.
James Irvine II offers to the government the right-of-way for a major stretch of Pacific Coast Highway through Orange County. An attraction in itself, the highway runs along the coastline, providing access to coastal cities and communities, as well as parks, beaches, and other attractions.
Following the opening of Pacific Coast Highway, Irvine Company starts development of the Irvine Beach and Country Club Estates, which suffer because of the Depression. Later, the communities become known as Shore Cliffs and Corona Highlands in Corona del Mar.
James Irvine II oversees the installation of a massive and sophisticated irrigation system on the ranch that includes the dam that created Irvine Lake. To this day, Irvine Company continues to treat water as a precious resource with state-of-the-art, high-efficiency water systems and extensive use of recycled water.
Exemplifying Irvine Company's history of philanthropy, the James Irvine Foundation is created in 1937 to provide financial aid for privately supported educational and charitable institutions.
The site of Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach is made possible by a 17.7-acre donation from James Irvine II.
Irvine Company develops the communities of Westcliff, Harbor Highlands, Baycrest, Cameo Shores and Cameo Highlands in Newport Beach. Laguna Beach's exclusive Irvine Cove is developed with custom lots. Several members of Irvine family build homes there, earning the community the nickname “Family Cove.”
The Irvine Ranch hosts the International Boy Scout Jamboree, welcoming some 50,000 Scouts from all over the world. The gathering takes place just north of Pacific Coast Highway, between Jamboree Road (named after the event) and MacArthur Boulevard in Newport Beach. Today, a plaque at Fashion Island commemorates the event.
Irvine Coast Country Club constructed between Corona del Mar and Newport Beach.
Acclaimed architect and urban planner William Pereira is commissioned to create a master plan to guide development and set standards for the entire Irvine Ranch. The original master plan calls for 10,400 acres, roughly 11 percent of the 93,000-acre ranch, to be set aside as parks and open space. Master planning begins. Irvine Company sells for one dollar 1,000 acres to the University of California on which to build UC Irvine.
The first shopping center on Irvine Ranch opens with completion of Westcliff Plaza at 17th Street and Irvine Boulevard in Newport Beach.
The Irvine Ranch introduces its first village—the 619-acre Village of Eastbluff—near the Upper Newport Bay.
Irvine Company officials break ground on Newport Town Center (to be renamed Fashion Island), a regional shopping center overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Newport Beach. It is the most ambitious undertaking yet proposed under the Master Plan.
Irvine Company and Irvine Ranch Water District become a pioneer in the use of recycled water in Orange County, building the Michelson Water Recycling Plant that delivers two million gallons of water daily. By 2025, the plant will have the capacity to produce 33 million gallons of water daily.
Irvine Company begins construction on its first apartment project, Mariner Square in Newport Beach.
Irvine Company headquarters in Newport Beach is completed at 550 and 500 Newport Center Drive.
Irvine incorporates, becoming Orange County's 26th city, population 14,231. Irvine's population today is more than 240,000.
On the first day of home sales for Village of Woodbridge in Irvine, 10,000 would-be homebuyers enter a lottery for the initial 350 homes. The demand and instant sellout of the village's first phase make national news.
A group of investors, including Donald Bren, purchase Irvine Company from the James Irvine Foundation. Bren becomes majority owner in 1983 and sole owner in 1996.
Irvine Company transfers 2,791 acres of land to the State of California, which in turn becomes Crystal Cove State Park, preserving three and a half miles of precious coastline and priceless biological resources in the coastal foothills.
Irvine Company acquires its first San Diego buildings in 1982, with La Jolla Gateway in University Towne Centre. Three decades later, the company continues to own and operate office properties in UTC, Downtown, Sorrento Mesa, Del Mar Heights and Mission Valley.
Irvine Spectrum takes shape, conceived and developed under Irvine's Master Plan to create a balanced district of retail, office, and living space.
The FBI names Irvine “America's Safest Large City” for the first time, establishing a reputation that will help define the city as one of the most livable, family-friendly communities in the U.S.
Irvine Spectrum Center opens 1995, becoming immediately popular with the local community as well as with visitors from around the world. The center is anchored by Edwards 21 Cinemas movie theater, largest in the western United States at that time. Host to an array of shopping and dining experiences, this iconic center has become as popular of an attraction as many long-time Southern California landmarks.
Irvine Company contributes 21,000 acres to The Nature Reserve of Orange County, thus creating a massive contiguous habitat area containing a wide variety of rare plant and animal species and the vital eco-systems necessary to support their survival.
Pelican Hill Club, a public restaurant and conference facility, opens adjacent to Pelican Hill golf courses, designed by Tom Fazio.
Irvine Company designates 11,000 acres of pristine open space for permanent protection in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. This gift is the final link in a contiguous sweep of open space from the coastal mountains to the sea on the historic Irvine Ranch.
Irvine Company's North Park Apartment Community—the largest apartment community in Silicon Valley—opens in San Jose, Calif.
The Irvine Ranch Land Reserve Trust is created to help ensure comprehensive protection and public access to the preserved lands. The trust is soon renamed the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, reflecting its increasingly active role in stewardship of the lands.
More than 40,000 permanently protected acres of the 93,000 acre Irvine Ranch® are designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior, following rigorous scientific review. Two years later, in 2008, the same lands are named a California Natural Landmark—the first such designation—and marks the beginning of a new program for the state.
After its highly anticipated expansion is complete in 2008, The Resort at Pelican Hill becomes a world-class destination—featuring two world-class golf courses, five-star amenities, unrivaled customer service, and exquisite dining experiences.
Irvine Company designates an additional 20,000 acres to the County of Orange—bringing the total contribution of permanently preserved land to more than 50,000 acres, representing more than half of the original 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch®.
Fashion Island celebrates its 45-year anniversary adding 22,000-square feet of retail space. As a result of reinvestment, more than 40 stores and restaurants have opened at Fashion Island since early 2010, including Nordstrom, a first-ever Ella Moss, a relocated Apple Store that's the largest in Orange County, and Whole Foods Market.
Culminating more than 50 years of open space master planning, Irvine Company announces a major land gift of 2,500 acres near Anaheim Hills, East Orange, and Irvine Lake. The gift brings the grand total of parklands and open space given by Irvine Company to 57,000 acres, or approximately 60% of the 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch.
Irvine Company begins an initiative that makes it the world's first major real estate company to create—in partnership with Microgrid Solutions—a fleet of hybrid-electric buildings powered by state-of-the-art energy storage systems from Tesla Energy. The hybrid-electric buildings reduce peak-energy consumption from local utilities, ease the need for additional power plants, reduce electricity costs and provide back-up power during grid outages.