Development with 350 apartments gets Newport commission’s OK; 78 units are designated affordable

A rendering shows apartments and the retail area of the planned Newport Crossings in Newport Beach.
(Courtesy of Starboard Realty Partners)

A large mixed-use complex in Newport Beach near John Wayne Airport is cleared for development, and nearly 80 apartments designated as affordable will be part of the package.

The Newport Beach Planning Commission on Thursday night approved the 350-unit, five-story Newport Crossings near Birch Street and MacArthur Boulevard.

The commission’s vote was 4-0, with Chairman Peter Zak and members Lauren Kleiman and Kory Kramer absent.

Of the 350 apartments, which consist of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, 78 will be reserved for people making up to 80% of the area median income. For Orange County, that’s $64,900 for a single-person household, $74,150 for two people or $83,450 for three.

The project also will include a 2,000-square-foot space for a casual restaurant, 5,500 square feet of other retail space and a half-acre park, all on a 5.7-acre patch bordered generally by Corinthian and Martingale ways, Scott Drive and Dove Street. The spot now contains a shopping center built in 1974 that is currently about a quarter-occupied.

It’s the same property where the denser Residences at Newport Place was proposed. The Planning Commission and City Council rejected that project in 2016, citing potential parking issues, an inadequate retail component and insufficient public access to its park.

Newport-based Starboard Realty Partners bought the property after those rejections and started on its own design.

Garage and surface parking will provide 740 spaces. A six-story parking garage, with one level below ground, will be surrounded by the buildings.

Newport Crossings is the latest high-density housing project planned for the airport area.

Other mixed-use developments include Uptown Newport — which is under construction along Jamboree Road between Birch and MacArthur with about 1,250 residential units, more than 10,000 square feet of retail space and two 1-acre parks — and the neighboring Koll Center Residences, which would group 260 luxury condominiums and 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space in three 13-story buildings alongside a 1-acre park. The latter project is still under consideration by the Planning Commission.

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