About Us

Our History

History of Irvine Company Office Properties

The creation of a large-scale, master-planned community designed to provide a careful balance of working, living, learning and recreational environments. These elements would be integrated in a way that would offer residents an extraordinarily high quality of life.

As Irvine Company celebrates 150 years of land, legacy and life, Irvine Company Office Properties is proud of the role we have played in being part of its distinguished history.  After a century and a half, the Company’s vision- and positive impact on the quality of life in the communities we serve- will endure for years to come.

It all began in 1864, when James Irvine and two partners purchased 120,000 acres that was assembled through Mexican & Spanish land grants to form The Irvine Ranch®.

Irvine bought out his partners in 1876, and in 1894, Irvine's son, James Irvine II, incorporated the land holdings as The Irvine Company. For decades, the Ranch was used for agriculture and grazing, but that began to change as urbanization moved south from Los Angeles County during the early 1960s.

The company resisted pressures to sell off the Ranch piecemeal to developers. Instead, the Board of Directors made a historic decision to forego obvious short-term financial gains and explore a visionary concept: the creation of a large-scale, master-planned community designed to provide a careful balance of working, living, learning and recreational environments. These elements would be integrated in a way that would offer residents an extraordinarily high quality of life.

Learn more about our 150 year legacy >>

Long-Range Vision

The plan called for a balance of land uses to support economic growth and promote quality of life, including a variety of housing types, job centers, shopping centers, generous recreational opportunities and abundant open space.

From the beginning, James Irvine ran The Irvine Ranch® with a respect for the land that has endured through many decades of dramatic change. The Irvine Company has always viewed the Ranch as a valuable, nonrenewable resource that must be managed with careful planning and long-range vision. With this in mind, the company in 1960 commissioned architect William Pereira to create a Master Plan to guide development and set standards for the entire Irvine Ranch. 

The plan called for a balance of land uses to support economic growth and promote quality of life, including a variety of housing types, job centers, shopping centers, generous recreational opportunities and abundant open space. Planners also anticipated the need for schools, churches, parks, roads, and utilities to serve the Ranch.

The Master Plan was designed with enough flexibility to respond to changing times, but William Pereira’s original vision and guiding principles—and the legacy of James Irvine’s ideals—continue to protect the quality of life on the Ranch nearly five decades after the plan was conceived.

 

Principles Guide Development of Ranch

Half a century ago, Irvine Company formulated key principles that continue to guide the planning process and to ensure the high quality of life on The Irvine Ranch®.

The key principles include:

  •  Maintain the land under a single owner. 
  •  Master Plan for all 93,000 acres to guide land use and infrastructure decisions, ensuring that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  •  Create an internal planning group to guide the evolution and implementation of the Master Plan.
  •  Establish three major planning sectors on The Ranch to break master planning work into manageable areas: the Coastal Sector, Valley Sector and Mountain Sector.
  •  Continually reinvest in the land.
  •  Ensure that the three planning sectors adhere to topography and jurisdiction constraints.
  •  Continue the tradition of land stewardship, with an eye on the long-term view.
  •  Contribute to the quality of the cities on The Irvine Ranch.
  •  Make sound, realistic economic and political decisions.