10,000 Plus Homeshoppers Attend Weekend Grand Opening of Esencia – on Rancho Mission Viejo, California’s Largest New Community

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This weekend Rancho Mission Viejo LLC. opened 12 neighborhoods at its second village, Esencia, on its Rancho Mission Viejo community -- the largest new planned community in California

Approximately 10,000 homeshoppers attended the grand opening celebration for the 12 brand-new neighborhoods at Esencia, situated atop some of the highest elevations on Rancho Mission Viejo, a 23,000-acre ranch in scenic South Orange County, CA

10,000+ attend weekend grand opening of Esencia in South Orange County, CA

What homeshoppers experienced this weekend at Esencia was the evolution of true inter-generational community living on The Ranch,” said Paul Johnson, Sr. Vice President of Community Development for Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC.

More than 10,000 homeshoppers attended the September 19-20 grand opening celebration for the first 12 residential neighborhoods at Esencia, a new mixed-use, inter-generational village where homes are priced from the high $400,000s to over $1 million and are situated atop some of the highest elevations on Rancho Mission Viejo, a 23,000-acre ranch in scenic South Orange County, CA.

At build-out, the multiple villages on Rancho Mission Viejo will occupy approximately 6,000 acres or 25% of the historic Rancho Mission Viejo, Orange County’s last working ranch which has been held in the O’Neill/Avery/ Moiso family since 1882.

Combined, the villages on The Ranch are expected to ultimately provide approximately 14,000 homes (including up to 6,000 homes in “Gavilan” neighborhoods, exclusive to residents age 55-plus) as well as up to five million square feet of non-residential uses, sites for schools, parks and recreational facilities, essential services and a network of trails and roadways linking the multiple villages planned for The Ranch. The remaining 17,000 acres, or 75% of the family’s ranch, will be preserved for ranching, farming and the phased formation of a large habitat conservation area called The Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo.        

Encompassing nearly 890 acres and ultimately planned for 2,800 “for sale” homes and apartments, Esencia is the second village on The Ranch, following the successful sell-out of the village of Sendero, which introduced a new model for inter-generational lifestyle with its gated “Gavilan” neighborhoods situated adjacent to its “all age” neighborhoods.

At build-out, Esencia (Spanish translation: the essence) will provide homes in 35 different neighborhoods for all ages and life stages including 12 non-gated “Gavilan” neighborhoods of primarily single-story homes for homebuyers age 55+. Unlike Sendero, the gates separating the ages have been removed at Esencia so that, instead of clustering all of the Gavilan neighborhoods together, they are spread out throughout the village to inter-mingle with “all age” neighborhoods.

“What homeshoppers experienced this weekend at Esencia was the evolution of true inter-generational community living on The Ranch,” said Paul Johnson, Sr. Vice President of Community Development for Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC, stewards of Rancho Mission Viejo and community master planners/developers. “In addition to blending the neighborhoods, we’ve created numerous shared ‘ageless’ amenities to offer inter-generational social and recreational opportunities as all residents of Esencia come together based on interest and ability versus being segregated by age. These inviting spaces and places compliment several “Gavilan-exclusive” amenities so that all Ranch residents can choose to become as connected and integrated as they desire.”

The collection of 12 neighborhoods which debuted on September 19 and 20 at Esencia on The Ranch feature eight neighborhoods for “all age” homebuyers and four “Gavilan” neighborhoods exclusive to the 55+ crowd. Totaling 840 homes, these 12 neighborhoods were presented by seven different homebuilders, including Meritage Homes, Ryland Homes,Shea Homes, Standard Pacific Homes, TRIPointe Homes, Warmington Residential, and William Lyon Homes. Dramatically rising from the floor of the San Juan Valley in the heart of The Ranch, the neighborhoods of Esencia are terraced into west-facing hillsides which afford both coastal views and backcountry panorama.

Among the many Esencia amenities to debut during the grand opening weekend was The Canyon House, an indoor/outdoor retreat featuring a covered open air great room, a spacious courtyard with fireplace, event lawn and the adjoining Canyon Coffee, a village coffee house proudly serving Peet’s coffees and teas. The Canyon House will temporarily serve as the Esencia Visitors Center as it quickly becomes an important social hub for Ranch residents and homeshoppers. Just below The Canyon House is Oak Canyon where hiking trails meander through stands of live oaks. And, also now open at Esencia is Brioso Park with a small lawn, picnic and seating area as well as a demonstration garden.

Under cultivation adjacent to The Canyon House is Esencia Farm, a community farm with a variety of in-ground row crops and fruit trees, raised planter beds, a harvest/preparation barn, chicken coop, and greenhouse. Esencia Farm is the third farm installed on The Ranch. Each farm is under the care of the Rancho Mission Viejo Community Farmer who oversees the crops and orchards, conducts farming classes and demonstrations, and hosts special farm-to-table dinners and events for residents living on The Ranch.

And, planned for throughout Esencia are a series of open air rooms and retreats located within the village as well as along its scenic edges. Looking out toward the rugged Chiquita Ridgeline and its wide canyon is The Outlook, now under construction and scheduled to open this winter for the exclusive use of Gavilan residents. The Outlook will include a covered outdoor great room, a resort-style lap pool with cabanas, a fire pit, and an outdoor dining area with barbeque grills. Also opening this winter is The South Plunge for all Ranch residents. The Plunge will include a pool, children’s water play area, event lawn, and an outdoor grilling and dining area. Additional amenities planned for these unique Esencia retreats include tent cabins, bocce ball courts, small event and intimate gathering places, and so much more.

Plus, envisioned as Esencia’s signature recreational and community-gathering place will be the view-oriented Hilltop Club with fitness center, swimming pool and spas, wading pool, staffed event bar, arcade, fire pits, barbeque pavilion, bocce courts, and expansive event lawn. Additional facilities and amenities planned for Esencia include The Pavilion multi-purpose building (with gymnasium, tot lot, outdoor gathering “movie zone” space, and open play area with soccer field and softball backstop), a future sports park with courts for tennis and pickleball, and even a dog park with dog watering and washing stations, plus more.

Anticipated to open for instruction by Fall 2018 will be the new Esencia K-8 school (part of the Capistrano Unified School District). And, approximately 50 acres of commercial space has been allocated at Esencia for such uses as retail shops and services, restaurants, professional and medical offices, and more.

Esencia on The Ranch is located just 2.3 miles from downtown San Juan Capistrano and five miles from San Clemente and Doheny State Beach, with easy access provided to the employment and retail centers of Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita and other Orange County areas.    

To learn more about Esencia on The Ranch, visit http://www.RanchoMissionViejo.com.


Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC is a privately held, family-owned and -operated company responsible for the ranching, farming, planning, development, and financial management of the remaining 23,000 acres of Rancho Mission Viejo, situated in unincorporated South Orange County, CA. Since 1882, members of the O’Neill/Avery/Moiso family have owned and managed The Ranch which once exceeded 200,000 acres and now includes the family-developed cities and communities of Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita as well as such important places as Caspers Wilderness Regional Park, the Starr Ranch Audubon Sanctuary, O’Neill Regional Park and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

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Diane Gaynor
Roni Hicks & Associates
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