ULI Orange County/Inland Empire What’s New?

Mentorship is Moving Trees, Literally

By Katie Darter Bennett, LEED Green Associate

The ULI OC IE 2016 Mentorship Program is in full swing. This program matches young professionals under 35 years old (“Protégés”) with experienced professionals (“Mentors”) for guidance and support, while offering mentors an opportunity to strengthen ties with the young future leaders of the local real estate community and the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

Last week, Group 16 met up with Jeff Thompson at his office: the headquarters of Rancho Mission Viejo. We had our usual monthly chat over lunch about various industry topics. Afterward, Jeff took us (his Protégés) on tour of Esencia. Esencia is the latest master-planned residential community developed by Rancho Mission Viejo. If you’ve never been out to Esencia, grabbing some coffee at Canyon Coffee or touring the model homes is quite an experience. There are breathtaking views every way you turn, and the amenities RMV has designed into their communities are definitely special.

Many of the neighborhoods are built out at Esencia (there are over 40 model homes to tour) but being in a RMV vehicle with Jeff meant that the group could see some behind the scenes work at Esencia. As part of the continued build-out at Esencia, a new road is being built to connect the neighborhoods with Ortega Highway. The Ranch is especially careful when developing untouched land – and this includes respecting the existing trees. The Ranch has hundreds (maybe thousands?) of live oak trees on their property, which means its inevitable for some development to interfere with where these trees naturally exist. In order to preserve these beautiful old trees, The Ranch often will hire a company that specializes in tree moving. Last week Jeff showed us a very special tree: according to the Guinness Book of World Records, this is the largest tree moved the longest distance!

For more information about the Mentorship Program, contact either of the co-Chairs: Jake Vollebregt at jake.vollebregt@bbklaw.com or Spencer Wampole at spencer@ocmartgroup.com or contact the ULI Orange County/Inland Empire office at orangecounty@uli.org.

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