July 3, 2007

Village of Orchard Hills Honored With ”Best on the Boards Site Plan” Award

Orchard Hills, a new residential village planned on The Irvine Ranch, recently received the Gold Nugget Grand Award for "Best on the Boards Site Plan" at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC) in San Francisco, CA.

The Gold Nugget award recognized the land planning and architectural design excellence exhibited within this new residential village in North Irvine. Specifically, the Gold Nugget Awards are among the real estate industry's highest honors and have marked creative achievement and excellence in land use planning and architectural design for residential, retail and commercial developments since 1963. Orchard Hills was selected from among 560 entries from the 14 western states in the U.S., and all international countries.

"One of the many reasons that Orchard Hills was chosen for this distinctive honor was for recognition of its plan to respect the historical agricultural history of Irvine by saving the surrounding operating avocado groves, wind rows, natural hillside topography and riparian drainage ways," said Eric Brown, President of Artisan Homes in Phoenix, Arizona and one of the judges for this year's Gold Nugget Awards.

"It is very rewarding to receive such a coveted award for architecture, design and planning," said Joseph Davis, President of Irvine Community Development Company, an affiliate of The Irvine Company responsible for all residential development on The Irvine Ranch. "Orchard Hills will have a lifestyle that has all but vanished in Orange County. Residents will experience a closeness to the land that goes far beyond a beautiful setting and breathtaking views. This award showcases the fact that we have succeeded in designing an attractive, innovative community that will meet the needs of today's homebuyers as they seek a unique environment in which to live and raise a family."

"I was particularly impressed with how the extensive open space trail system within Orchard Hills is complemented by recreational amenities that are surrounded by natural open spaces," said Peter Templeton, PCBC judge and Principal for Templeton Planning in Newport Beach, CA. "The layout of the village is a time tested design that builds great social interaction. The high schools and elementary schools form a strong base for a family community where children can walk or ride a bike to school. There's a great use of neighborhood parks surrounded by roads, and the community shopping center is connected via walking trails to the neighborhoods, all of which allows for easy accessibility."

Orchard Hills is a new village in North Irvine set against the Lomas de Santiago ridgeline. When completed, this new village will consist of four distinctly unique residential enclaves, three of which will be gated. Each enclave is defined by the land's attributes -- the avocado groves, hill forms, ridgelines, open space and reservoir. A large portion of the avocado groves will be preserved at Orchard Hills, so that even after development the 500-acre orchards will remain as part of one of the nation's largest avocado producers.

This new community will present a rare opportunity to live a life of quiet country elegance reminiscent of the rural character of Old California. Orchard Hills will offer a closeness to the land and its agrarian heritage few will ever experience. The abundant amenities will reflect a resort style, with private recreation centers within each enclave. Other planned amenities include two six-acre public neighborhood parks, complete with ball fields, sports courts, picnic areas and playgrounds. The village will also have its own neighborhood retail center.

Irvine Community Development Company is an affiliate of The Irvine Company, a 140-year-old, privately held company known for the balanced, sustainable communities it has planned and developed on The Irvine Ranch in Orange County, California. The company traces its roots to the 1800s with the assembly of The Irvine Ranch from Mexican and Spanish land grants. The Irvine Company was incorporated in 1894.

For more information about the new village of Orchard Hills or other homes on The Irvine Ranch, contact the Homefinding Center at (888) 820-0721, or visit www.irvineranch.com.

Here is a list of all of the Gold Nugget winners on The Irvine Ranch:

Irvine Community Development Company

Grand Award Best on the Boards site plan - Orchard Hills

Best Single Family Detached Home (Over 5,000 sf) - Seacrest at Crystal Cove, Laing Luxury Homes

Award of Merit Best Single Family Detached Home (Over 5,000 sf) - Seacrest at Crystal Cove, Laing Luxury Homes

Best Single Family Detached Homes (2,300 sf and Over on a Small Lot) - Las Colinas at Portola Springs, Plans 3 & 4, Taylor Woodrow Homes

Best Single Family Detached Homes (4,001 to 4,500 sf) - Serra at Portola Springs, Standard Pacific Homes

Residential Project of the Year/Attached - Suburban - Paloma at Portola Springs, Brookfield Homes

Irvine Apartment Communities

Grand Award Best Low Rise Apartment Project - Up to 3 stories - Woodbury Place

Award of Merit Best Mid to High Rise Apartment Project - Over 4 stories - The Village at Irvine Spectrum Center

Best on the Boards site plan - The Villages and Park at the Spectrum