Contact Us

More Plans Emerge For 23,000-Acre Ranch In South OC


The first of several affordable housing projects at Rancho Mission Viejo, an active 23,000-acre ranch, habitat reserve, and master planned community in the unincorporated area of South Orange County (pictured) will begin construction in spring 2016, including a 107-unit senior apartment complex and a family 112-unit family apartment project. Last week the OC Board of Supervisors unanimously authorized a finance mechanism for the projects that will provide up to $45M in bonds through the California Statewide Communities Development, an affordable funding resource. Rancho Mission Viejo will reimburse the agency over 30 years.

The Ranch, as the company is known, is funding affordable housing development in exchange for the county crediting the company two acres for every acre with at least 25 affordable units. This means that the two affordable projects funded by the Ranch accounts for 15 of the 60 acres the Ranch dedicated to county use for affordable housing in a 2004 agreement, which authorized the developer to build 14,000 homes, according to the Orange County Register. The county still has control of the other 45 acres, but is preparing a proposal that would provide the Ranch an opportunity to develop additional affordable projects in a similar manner to these two projects.

The 112-unit Esencia Norte Family Apartments will be built on 3.1 acres in the Escenia village, a neighborhood slated for up to 2,700 homes and 500 apartments, as well as 50 acres of commercial space. The 107-unit Sendero Bluffs Senior Apartments will occupy a 2.8-acre site in Sendero village, a neighborhood that opened in 2013 and includes 941 homes and a 286-unit apartment complex. Both communities will be built and operated by Western National Group and will be completed in fall. [OCR]