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Airport-area midrise proposes 350 apartments plus retail, dining and a park

Airport-area midrise proposes 350 apartments plus retail, dining and a park
A rendering of apartments and the retail area of Newport Crossings, as seen from Corinthian Way. (Courtesy of Starboard Realty Partners)

Developers behind a proposed mid-rise, mixed-use complex in Newport Beach near John Wayne Airport say they have learned from a project that unsuccessfully sought city approval last year.

With 350 apartments, a 2,000 square-foot space for a casual restaurant, 5,500 square feet of other retail and a half-acre park, Newport Crossings would occupy a 5.7-acre patch bound generally by Corinthian and Martingale ways, Scott Drive and Dove Street. A shopping center built in 1974 currently sits on the spot.

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It's the same property that would have seen The Residences at Newport Place, a denser project that the Newport Beach Planning Commission and City Council both rejected in 2016, citing insufficient public access to its park, potential parking issues and an inadequate retail component.

Aside from location, Newport Crossings is unrelated to The Residences at Newport Place, said Dan Vittone, a principal from Newport Beach-based property owner and applicant Starboard Realty Partners.

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"When designing Newport Crossings, our starting point was the city's comments regarding the prior Residences at Newport Place project," Vittone said.

Starboard purchased the property this year and was not involved with the Residences proposal, he said.

"We heard the city's concerns about height and density, so we designed a project that is lower in height and contains fewer units," he added. "In response to the city's concerns about the Residences' Mediterranean Revival architecture style, we have proposed architecture that is dynamic and contemporary. Finally, we recognized the city's reluctance to waive the General Plan's park requirement for the Residences' project, so have proposed to dedicate a half-acre park to the city as part of our project."

The pool area of Newport Crossings.
The pool area of Newport Crossings. (Courtesy of Starboard Realty Partners)

Project leaders held a lightly attended scoping session at the OASIS Senior Center Thursday in advance of a study on the proposal's possible environmental impacts.

JoAnn Hadfield from community planning consulting firm PlaceWorks explained that the meeting wasn't required by state law because Newport Crossings is relatively small. State regulations require a preliminary scoping session for residential developments of more than 500 units.

But the city wanted to be conservative, Hadfield said.

At Newport Crossings, buildings containing studio, one- and two-bedroom units would be five stories and up to 77 feet tall. Fifty-two of the units would be for low-income tenants. A six-story parking garage, with one level below-ground, would be surrounded by the buildings. Garage and surface parking would provide 740 spaces.

Project officials will now begin the environmental impact report. A draft should be ready by spring 2018 for public and city feedback, leading to a final report and a decision by the Newport Beach Planning Commission, tentatively in the fall.

The same view of the complex from Corinthian Way, at night.
The same view of the complex from Corinthian Way, at night. (Courtesy of Starboard Realty Partners)

Written comments on the recently released Notice of Preparation, which summarizes the project and solicits suggestions for the environmental report, can be sent to Rosalinh Ung, associate planner, at rung@newportbeachca.gov until Nov. 30. Comments also can be mailed to Ung at the Community Development Department at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660.

Copies of the summary are available for review in the Community Development Department at City Hall, at all four public libraries and online at http://bit.ly/2irrz5u.

The airport area is seeing a burst of potential and current mixed-use development.

Uptown Newport, now under construction along Jamboree Road between Birch Street and MacArthur Boulevard, will have about 1,250 residential units, more than 10,000 square feet of retail space and two 1-acre parks. The neighboring Koll Center Residences would group 260 luxury condominiums plus 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space in three 13-story buildings, with its own 1-acre park. The city Planning Commission will take up the Koll Center project in January.

Irvine-based developer Shopoff Realty Investments is behind both Uptown Newport and the Koll Center Residences.

Twitter: @Daily_PilotHD

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