Brief: Many cities possess large or prime swaths of land formerly used for military or other purposes that have now been decommissioned and can be reused for other uses.

Description: The most notable local examples of site re-use include the Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin and the El Toro Air Base in Irvine. These expansive decommissioned military sites provide an attractive opportunity for creative land uses and redevelopment ideas. Although they present serious obstacles such as present environmental hazards and the subsequent local impact resulting from new development, reuse projects that are well planned and successfully mitigated present housing and commercial opportunities that are otherwise impossible in any built-out city.

Tustin Legacy, Re-use of the Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, Tustin, CA
“The 1,600+ acre development will ultimately include 4,600 homes; over 10 million square feet of non-residential space including major office, retail, entertainment, business park, educational and community support facilities. Over 275 acres are dedicated to parkland and recreational open spaces and will feature a two-mile community lineal park with walking spaces, playgrounds, tranquil natural areas and sports facilities.” –

The Orange County Great Park, Re-use of the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, Irvine, CA
“Under the terms of a development agreement between Lennar [the developer] and the City of Irvine, Lennar was granted limited development rights in return for the land and capital that will allow the construction of the Orange County Great Park. The agreement required Lennar to transfer more than 1,347 acres to public ownership and contribute 200 million dollars towards the development of the Great Park.” –


Tustin Legacy, South Brea Lofts