“Urban living” in suburban OC?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
Last week, we had the chance to visit a home in the Marquee Park Place in Irvine. The
Marquee Park Place is a two tower, 18 story condominium complex. It is the first of it’s size for OC, and just one of over 50 “high rise” residential towers that are either currently in construction or are in the planning stages. Orange County isn’t really known for “high rise” living, but a recent article in
OCMetro shows that “vertical living” is definitely in its future. Irvine, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and Anaheim all are currently building towers, all of which are in areas incorporating retail and dining, and near to feature attractions (ie. South Coast Metro, Disneyland, Anaheim Stadium, etc…) (
survey after the jump)

The condo we visited came complete with concierge, fancy lobby, gated security guard parking, doorman, and all the other ammenities you’d imagine a nice apartment on Park Avenue would have (except this is Irvine.) It was within steps of the Park Place retail center. The inside of the condo was very fabulous. Ultra modern, sleek and sophisticated. However, it felt a little odd looking at the view of the 9th floor patio, which at night is probably pretty, but during the day, seemed sort of… boring? A sea of terra cotta tiled roofs, and industrial building blocks… (Unfortunately they didn’t have a unit that faced towards the ocean, and even that would’ve been hard to see…) There’s no doubt that Orange County is growing and thriving, economically, and population-wise. There is also no doubt a certain perceived glamour and convenience to “high-rise” living (no yards, the ability to “lock and go”, etc..) Builders, investors, and city planners obviously feel there is a growing market for this type of housing (All 232 units of the Marquee were sold by the time construction had barely begun.)

So I ask the question for all those that live in “the OC”- if money weren’t an issue, would you opt for this “urban” living? and how do you feel about these developments that will inevitably change the skyline of Orange County?