At The Irvine Company, everything goes according to plan -- the master plan. The real estate investment company plans and designs office, retail, and residential developments in California. It owns some 500 office buildings, and 40 retail centers, as well as hotels, marinas, and golf courses. Its Irvine Company Apartment Communities arm manages 115 apartment communities. The star in Irvine's crown, Irvine Ranch in Orange County, is one of the largest planned communities in the US with some 220,000 residents. It covers 93,000 acres, a drop from its original 120,000 acres back in the mid-1800s, when James Irvine bought out the debts of Mexican land-grant holders. Billionaire chairman Donald Bren owns the company.
The Irvine Company is focused on four key California markets: San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley.
Bren continues the 40-year-old master plan created by the Irvine Foundation (the former parent of The Irvine Company), which calls for gradual development of its rigorously planned communities. The plan -- which has so far helped form the communities of Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Orange, and Tustin, as well as centerpiece Irvine -- has entered its final phase (set for completion around 2040). However, the company faces increasing political opposition from area residents, who tend to become development-weary after they get their piece of The Irvine Ranch. To counter all of the development The Irvine Company has set aside 50,0000 acres of Irvine Ranch to be preserve lands.
On the commercial side, The Irvine Company's 95-million-sq.-ft. portfolio includes upscale shopping mall Irvine Spectrum Center, which more than 13 million people visit annually. The 400-acre Irvine Spectrum is one of the nation's largest high-tech research and business centers.
The Irvine Company has increasingly focused on property investment and management. In addition to Irvine Spectrum, the company has been overseeing the development, marketing, leasing, and management of Fashion Island in Newport Beach, McCarthy Center in Silicon Valley, Symphony Towers in San Diego, and Fox Plaza in West Los Angeles. In 2011 The Irvine Company struck a deal to build a 380,000 sq. ft. headquarters building for Pacific Investment Management Company in Newport Beach.
Donald Bren, America's richest real estate developer, is The Irvine Company's sole shareholder.