More Tech in Irvine’s Future, According to Choi’s State of the City

Irvine Mayor Steven Choi delivered his third annual State of the City Speech last Tuesday evening, highlighting the city’s numerous recognitions and future plans.

Choi began his speech by presenting multiple accolades Irvine received. The list of honors include Irvine as the No. 1 city in California for Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live in 2014, No. 1 in 24/7 Wall Street’s 2014 listings of Best Run Cities and No. 3 Best California City for Young Adults.

The mayor stated his interest in Irvine becoming a prominent technological city, supporting technology companies from the start and onward. He dubbed this vision “InnoVine.” The mayor further listed seven companies as the first of The Vine, Irvine Company’s startup business incubator.

He continued to highlight other developments, including Broadcom’s choice to remain in Irvine, rather than move elsewhere due to its desire to establish a larger campus. The semiconductor company will be establishing this larger campus near the Orange County Great Park and expected to account for 8,000 employees in the coming future.

The mayor proceeded to describe the continuation of the development of 688-acre parkland. The City Council approved a proposal to develop a 688-acre parkland at the Orange County Great Park in 2013. This project is being developed by Five Point Communities and expected to be completed in the next five years. Upon completion, the site will house 24 soccer fields, 25 tennis courts, four basketball courts, 12 baseball and softball fields and five sand volleyball courts in a 175-acre sports park. There are also plans for a 187-acre golf course, 72-acre agricultural field, 40-acre bosque area, 36-acre canyon area and a 178-acre Wildlife Corridor.

Irvine will host the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015. It will be held this October at the Orange County Great Park for a second time. Local teams such as UC Irvine, Irvine Valley College, Chapman University and Saddleback College are expected to compete this year. The City Council has also approved a $200,000 grant to the local teams.

The mayor also expressed his interest in reducing traffic congestion through the completion of the landscaping of the Sand Canyon Undercrossing. The mayor also mentioned that the City Council has hired a traffic-engineering firm for a transportation study on the city of Irvine in the hopes of deciding to pinpoint actions to reduce traffic congestion.

Choi further emphasized his desire to construct an iconic city library. If decided and approved, the library will be built on the Great Park’s Cultural Terrace site.

Mayor Choi concluded by expressing a busy workload for 2015, encouraging the audience that the City Council will make the right decisions for the people of Irvine in the coming months.