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Irvine Company’s Village of Portola Springs Earns "Best Master-Planned Community" Award

Newport Beach, Calif., (July 17, 2008)– Portola Springs – a new residential village designed and developed by Irvine Community Development Company, an affiliate of the Irvine Company – was honored for its innovative planning and design excellence as “Master Planned Community of the Year” during the prestigious 45th Annual Gold Nugget Awards ceremony at the recent Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC). This marks the third time one of the Villages of Irvine received a coveted “Master Planned Community of the Year” award (Northpark, 2000; Woodbury, 2006). In addition, Portola Springs received a Gold Nugget Award for “Best Community Site Plan.” The Gold Nugget is one of the real estate industry’s highest honors and marks creative achievement and excellence in land use planning and architectural design for residential, retail and commercial industrial developments throughout 14 Western states. Final award entries are presented with either a Grand Award or Award of Merit by a panel of expert judges.

“We are honored to receive these coveted awards for excellence in architecture, design and planning,” said Dan Young, President of Irvine Community Development Company LLC, an affiliate of the Irvine Company LLC. “Portola Springs represents an approach to land planning that is based on the natural topography of the land. It’s the ideal blend of good planning, great architecture and a location that is unparalleled in its natural appeal. These awards demonstrate that we have succeeded in designing an attractive, innovative village that meets the needs of today’s homebuyers as they seek a unique environment for their families found only in the Villages of Irvine.” The Village of Portola Springs® spans 2,600 acres beneath the signature Lomas Ridge along the most northern borders of Irvine, and can be accessed off the I-5 Freeway at Sand Canyon. Portola Springs is traversed by the extension of Portola Parkway as it winds from SR 133 (Laguna Canyon Road) to the west, brushes near the border of the El Toro National Wildlife Refuge at the east, and ultimately links with the 241 Toll Road.

“Portola Springs is an exceptional master planned community and well deserving of this award,” said Jenny Sullivan, PCBC judge and Senior Editor for Builder Magazine. “Each neighborhood is a response to its own unique geographic design and is surrounded by miles of protected open space. The 20-mile network of walking and biking trails serve as connective tissues, linking neighborhoods, schools, parks and shops.”

“Portola Springs clearly stood out among its competitors,” said Randal Jackson, PCBC judge and principal for The Planning Center in Costa Mesa, CA. “The design and planning of the community is exceptional. The unique and successful effort to marry development to the natural landform as key elements, along with the cohesive planning that knits the diverse mix of products and neighborhoods into a strong sense of community, resulted in this well deserved award.”

Portola Springs currently has six parks open, with amenities including two Junior Olympic-sized swimming pools, children’s wading pools, spas, basketball and tennis courts, picnic areas with barbecues, play structures and plentiful grassy spaces. A pedestrian bridge is planned to span Portola Parkway in the heart of the village, providing convenient passage to both the southern and northern open space trail systems, and other village amenities.

Portola Springs also includes a network of different types of pathways and trails that are planned throughout the village, ultimately connecting homes to 18 different private parks and a 25-acre community park with a multi-purpose community building, lighted athletic fields, basketball courts and tennis courts, tot lots and picnic areas. Portola Springs residents will enjoy 100 acres of natural habitat preserved in the heart of the village for residents to discover, explore and appreciate.

Residents of Portola Springs are served by the highly acclaimed Irvine Unified School District. Two future elementary school sites have been identified within the village, while high school students attend Northwood High School, recently named one of the top 10 high schools in the county by the Orange County Register.

Portola Springs is also close to some of Irvine’s most popular shopping centers, including Irvine Spectrum Center, The Market Place and Woodbury Town Center.

Irvine Community Development Company is an affiliate of The Irvine Company, a 140-year-old, privately held company known for the balanced, sustainable communities it has planned and developed on The Irvine Ranch in Orange County, California. The company traces its roots to the 1800s with the assembly of The Irvine Ranch from Mexican and Spanish land grants. The Irvine Company was incorporated in 1894.

For more information about the Village of Portola Springs or other homes on The Irvine Ranch, please visit www.VillagesofIrvine.com. Information is also available by contacting a Villages of Irvine New Home Consultant at (888) 820-0721.