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Bisnow: How OliverMcMillan Plans to Redevelop OC Blimp Hangars

by Dees Stribling

Walkable, mixed-use areas are in short supply in Orange County. OliverMcMillan CEO Dene Oliver tells us that the goal for Tustin Legacy's Community Core is to create exactly that—including something genuinely unique, a redeveloped blimp hangar.

Recently the City of Tustin tapped OliverMcMillan, which has done a lot of mixed-use nationwide—including the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego but no large-scale projects before in OC—to plan a 123-acre development with office, residential, retail and entertainment uses for the Community Core. "It's going to be a pedestrian-oriented place where people can enjoy a mix of uses," Dene says, adding that it will be built out along short, walkable blocks.

Community Core is bordered by Armstrong Ave, Warner Ave and Tustin Ranch Road, and it includes one of the 17-story historic blimp hangars originally built by the Navy in 1942. As yet, there are no firm plans for the hangar, though a lot of ideas have been kicked around, including a museum, retail uses or a farmers market. All together, Dene estimates the planning for Community Core (including the hangar) will take about three years due to the existing physical complexity of the site.