So what is it that makes Irvine so superior? UCI, for one. See the Opinion page for a reminder of how spectacular that institution of research and higher learning is for our city, and the world.
The other key differentiator between Irvine and those other towns is we’re a self-sufficient city, with gleaming office towers housing Fortune 500 corporations and nondescript tilt-ups incubating groundbreaking tech startups. And those other cities are suburbs, bedroom communities to, well… us. Certainly, there are business centers south of us. Oakley is in Lake Forest/Foothill Ranch, Ketel One and Qwest call Aliso Viejo home. But it’s nothing like Irvine.
When I was a kid, the Ziggurat Building fascinated me. Designed by Irvine and UCI master planner William Pereira to house Rockwell’s space division, it seemed so modern and futuristic at the time. Its only aesthetic equal was what we all called the Fluor Building, which was the most visible structure in Irvine at the time.
What we didn’t know in the 1970s and 1980s was that the future favored Irvine. It still does
Today, the Ziggurat is a nearly forgotten federal center in South County. Fluor’s former headquarters is Park Place, one of several economically vibrant corporate, science and tech centers in Irvine.
Cities like Irvine, and the intellect, imagination and passion that have driven its incredible growth and success, are rare. The faction of anti-business, anti-growth folks active in our community could do real damage to the live/work/learn balance that has made Irvine exceptional.
Together, we’ll work to address issues of smart growth, congestion and traffic that concern us all. But let’s not forget—and risk losing—what’s made Irvine a great and prosperous place.