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OC Register: Tustin council gives Flight wings and OKs new Vintage condos

by Susan Christian Goulding

The City Council on Tuesday night approved two major developments – one residential and the other commercial.

Council members voted 4 to 1, with Beckie Gomez dissenting, to replace a 7-acre industrial park in Old Town with a 140-unit condominium complex called Vintage.

While that project attracted complaints from a dozen speakers, the much bigger undertaking sailed right through without a single protest. Flight – an 870,000-square-foot office campus planned for Tustin Legacy – won unanimous support from the council.

Slated for the intersection of Sixth and B streets, Vintage is part of the city’s goal to revitalize Old Town with mixed-use developments that will bring in families and foot traffic. Currently, the site has 11 buildings and a cellphone tower.

Lyann Courrant, co-owner of Advantage Manufacturing, which makes pool filtration equipment, said that she and her husband were not given adequate notice about the city’s plan to shutter the industrial park.

“We have been here for 22 years,” Courrant said. “Our employees pay sales tax and spend money in town. It’s soul-crushing to hear how little the city appreciated us.”

Several residents expressed concerns that the condos would further exacerbate traffic and parking problems. Others claimed that Vintage’s architecture – a conglomeration of craftsman, farmhouse, cottage and Spanish facades – would not fit into the ambiance of Old Town.

But other speakers welcomed the complex. Tustin Chamber of Commerce representatives took turns praising Vintage as a boost to shops and restaurants.

City staff and the majority of council members concluded that the complex will be an attractive addition with no impact to traffic compared to the number of vehicles now coming and going at the industrial park. The development will include a double garage for every unit and 69 guest parking spaces, twice the city’s required number for its size.

“It creates a new environment on that end of Old Town and provides badly needed housing,” said Mayor John Nielsen.  

Years in the works, the high-tech office complex coming to the southwest corner of 1,600-acre Tustin Legacy – formerly the Marine Corps Air Station – breezed through the meeting with little commentary.

Built by Lincoln Property, Flight is expected to break ground next spring. Its nontraditional, wide-open offices will overlook a 26-acre park with trees and trails.

City Manager Jeff Parker read off a list of staff and consultants who have been critical to Flight becoming a reality.

“This is an enormous project,” he noted. “Thanks to everyone who made it happen.”

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