Reinvestment to enhance The Market Place

Since debuting in 1988, The Market Place has become one of Southern California’s most popular open-air shopping and dining destinations, drawing millions each year to its top lifestyle brands and 47 diverse eateries. We asked Karol Reedy, senior general manager of The Market Place, about what’s happening this summer – and beyond.

What’s the latest attraction?

Our hugely popular new Culinary Adventures initiative lets kids eat free at several participating restaurants Monday through Thursday until Aug. 29. It’s a wonderful opportunity for families to create lasting memories with meals from around the world. This includes Pacific Catch’s high-quality, sustainable seafood from around the Pacific Rim, Luna Grill’s Mediterranean cuisine and EverSpring Modern Chinese’s signature egg yolk sesame balls and spring rolls.

What’s the summer vibe?

The Market Place is a beautiful retreat during the summer with more than 3,000 trees, including olives, date palms and Australian willows that delight shoppers with their shade and beauty, while fountains and plazas provide opportunities to relax and mingle.  

What are the plans to make The Market Place even better?

A new community lawn and plaza will open in the summer of 2025, creating an expansive gathering place for events and celebrations. Among other fun additions, the area will feature numerous pop-up shops and other retail and culinary experiences. The design reflects several years of community input and master planning, as Irvine Company engaged with residents and shoppers to understand how best to create new gathering spaces at The Market Place.

Plans include new apartment homes near the shops and restaurants?

Yes. In June 2023, the Irvine City Council unanimously approved two new apartment communities on a limited portion of The Market Place to create needed housing close to local jobs, shops and restaurants. Our master planners have designed the new communities adjacent to Regal theater and the planned new lawn. The apartment homes may be available as early as next summer, and according to a recent study, the new residents will support local merchants with an estimated $30 million in new annual spending.

How will parking be accommodated?

The apartment communities will include new parking structures for residents hidden from view from shopping centers or nearby streets. The parking structures will have up to 700 new EV charging stations and solar panels, also hidden from view, that will power the new community almost exclusively by clean energy.

Kids can eat free Monday through Thursday at several restaurants this summer as part of the Culinary Adventures program at The Market Place.