Aliso Viejo Town Center
About the Aliso Viejo Town Center
As a master-planned community developed under the authority of County of Orange, Aliso Viejo was envisioned to have up to 20,000 homes; 3,400 acres of parks, open space, recreation, schools and community facilities; and a central core comprised of 900 acres of business parks and commercial centers. The Aliso Viejo Planned Community Development Plan was approved in 1979 and established Aliso Viejo as the first planned community in California to envision a balance between the projected resident workforce and number of projected jobs within the City’s borders. The business parks and centrally located Aliso Viejo Town Center were expected to provide more than 22,000 jobs. To encourage live-and-work opportunities, the Development Plan ensured every home in Aliso Viejo was located within a half-mile of the business core and two miles of Aliso Viejo Town Center (Town Center).
Aliso Viejo’s residential and business communities continue to thrive but the City is almost completely built-out and limited in new development opportunities. Without available land for new development, the City finds itself in a position to seek alternative development options to provide amenities that ensure the needs and desires of its residential and business communities are being met. Town Center is fortunate to have nearly a 100% occupancy rate and tenants are generally performing at satisfactory or above average levels. However, as a middle-aged center, Town Center faces many challenges in the future.
The retail sector is constantly evolving and, at least four major new or substantially redeveloped shopping centers that would compete for the same customer and tenant base are proposed within a few miles. With the limited amount of retail space in Town Center and in Aliso Viejo in general, many residents are forced to shop and dine outside the City. According to a recent retail market study, “without additional retail and dining space, and with continued expansion and re-positioning of nearby competitive shopping centers, Town Center is at risk.” As the primary retail, dining, and entertainment district in Aliso Viejo, Town Center cannot afford to experience a major decline.
Community Design Process
The City of Aliso Viejo held three design workshops in April 2017 to garner public input to create a vision for a more walkable, livable and vibrant Aliso Viejo Town Center. By end of the workshops, the residents and City representatives developed a general framework that could guide the future development of Town Center. Plans focus primarily on the Gateway District which comprises of approximately 21 acres of retail, restaurant, residential, and office uses. In summary, the Town Center revitalization project envisions a future with more restaurants, entertainment, and shopping choices for residents and businesses -- keeping tax revenue in our city and enhancing Aliso Viejo's high quality of life with a more vibrant core.
Furthermore, with the recent closure of Lowe’s Home Improvement across the street from Town Center, the property owner of The Commons at Aliso Viejo was inspired by the City’s efforts to revitalize Town Center and is looking to redevelop the former Lowe’s site in a way complements the vision the community helped develop for Town Center
The City is working to make that vision for a revitalized Aliso Viejo Town Center a reality, which includes developing a financial analysis to assess the project’s overall economic feasibility and the City is researching ways to minimize the impact of construction on existing Town Center businesses and patrons. Ensuring the availability of adequate and convenient parking during construction is essential for the project to move forward, and the City is committed to reducing the impacts of construction as much as possible. In Fall 2019, the City will be reaching out to property owners to discuss the findings of the various analyses and begin preparing the site for future investment and development.
There will be many more opportunities for public input, but you can provide feedback by sending comments to TownCenter@avcity.org. Visit http://www.imaginetowncenter.com for more information and please sign up for our eNewsletter.